Contractor expects double digit profit growth for 2005 despite £13m one-off cost in utilities business.

Support services group Alfred McAlpine has said that it will increase profits by double figures when it releases full-year results for 2005.

In a pre-close trading update released this morning, the group said that the outlook at the start of 2006 was positive, with “an improved order book” and “a healthy pipeline of new opportunities”.

The statement revealed that the group’s Business Services division is to announce details of two major new contracts, on which it has been appointed preferred bidder, in the coming weeks.

It added that performance in the group’s Capital Projects wing had experienced an “encouraging” 2005, while the Infrastructure Services arm had come through a “challenging year” marked by senior management changes.

Ian Grice, group chief executive of Alfred McAlpine, said: “Over the last four years we have considerably reshaped our business as we have repositioned the company as a support services business focused on the built environment.

“All our markets offer long-term growth opportunities and the potential for lower risk, more visible earnings, as evidenced by our substantial order book going into 2006.”