Sir Robert McAlpine returns to profit

Building and civil engineering contractor Sir Robert McAlpine has returned to profit in the past year after heavy losses in 2017.

In the year to 31st October 2018, Sir Robert McAlpine made a profit of £6.7m compared with a loss of £34.2m in the year before. Turnover (including share of joint ventures) was down 7.5% to £788m (2017:£852m) Profit on ordinary activities before tax and exceptional items was £11.2m in 2018, compared to £1.5m in 2017. At the year-end the company had cash balances of £73m (2017: £66m) and was debt free.

Projects completed in 2018 include the commercial office developments at the London Fruit & Wool Exchange and 10 Fenchurch Street and further upgrades of the retail space at Selfridges – all in London.

Sir Robert McAlpine’s Central Wales and West regional business finished the extension of the SKA Headquarters at Jodrell Bank. In its Scotland and Northern region, the company built student accommodation at the University of St Andrews and a new submarine paint facility at Barrow-in-Furness.

New projects won or started during the year include 55-91 Knightsbridge, and on a commercial office at Shepherdess Walk, both in London. In the Central, Wales and West region, it started on site with Phase 2 of Pinewood Studios. In the Scotland and Norther region, it began the refurbishment of St Enoch Centre in Glasgow, 35 years after building the original, and the refurbishment of Newcastle Civic Centre, 50 years after first constructing it.

The company is working to a five-year strategic plan that was introduced by chief executive Paul Hamer at the end of 2018, with the twin ambitions of becoming ‘the best place to work’ in the construction industry and ‘Britain’s best builder’.

Paul Hamer said: “This performance, alongside continued financial resilience and a healthy secured pipeline of work, represents a solid stepping stone for the business. Our strategy will continue to focus on working with clients who share our business values and to prioritise profitability and risk mitigation over turnover growth”.

“With our new five=year strategy in place, we have the opportunity to build on our strengthening performance as we work to deliver on our ambition to become the best place to work in the construction industry and the best builder in the UK”.

Still under the original family ownership, Sir Robert McAlpine turns 150 this year.