Grimshaw’s income up but profits slump amid HS2 setbacks

Pre-tax profits at the practice, ranked fifth on the AJ100, dropped to £6.5 million over the year to September 30 2023, down from £8.1 million in the previous 12 months.

However turnover rose signifcantly from £72.4 million to £98.1 million over the same reporting period, according to the company’s latest financial report.

Last March the government announced it was delaying work on the Euston High Speed 2 (HS2) station amid cost concerns, and also scrapped the multibillion-pound project’s Birmingham to Crewe HS2 line. It is understood Grimshaw stood down a design team of about 90 following the announcement.

The fate of the station expansion remains shrouded in uncertainty, with reports emerging last August that the number of platforms could be cut to seven.

Earlier this week, Parliament’s cross-party Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiry into HS2 branded the ‘curtailed rump’ of the project ‘very poor value for money’ and expressed scepticism over the private investor-led plans for Euston station’s redevelopment.

Grimshaw said that last year’s profits were ‘restricted’ mainly ‘because of the suspension of certain major projects during the year, leading to the stand down of staff.’

Source:HS2 Ltd

Work on the Euston station site has been paused for at least two years

The company added in its report that ‘overall economic conditions continue to be challenging, especially where governments are reviewing expenditure on publicly funded infrastructure projects’.

But Grimshaw’s chief financial officer Neil Boyde called the increased turnover ‘robust and considerable, particularly given the impact of major project changes and the ongoing conditions in publicly funded infrastructure developments in some markets’.

He added that the company was ‘in a good position to expand further and to improve profitability in the coming year’.

Although turnover in the UK was down 4 per cent, from £22 million to £21 million, revenues increased in the US by two-thirds to £15.6 million, and more than doubled in ‘the rest of the world’ outside the UK, US, Europe and Australia to £43.4 million.

New business won over the period included the Bath Gasworks development, the La Défense station in Paris, France, 130 West College Street in Los Angeles and Twelve Apostles Visitor Experience in Melbourne, Australia. Last year, the company also opened a studio in Auckland, New Zealand, taking its total number of offices to eight.