Chief executive Oliver Whitehead, who fought off an approach from Brunswick Developments last year, said conversations with Bryant had shown that the two had good “complementary skills”. He added: “The real story there is what might have been.”
House price inflation and better margins helped McAlpine achieve a record 37% leap in pre-tax profit after exceptionals to £46.5m for the year to 31 December 1999. Turnover was up 10% at £790.9m. The housing arm saw operating profit increase by one-third to £43.2m on turnover up 15% at £412.6m. Average selling price rose from £98 600 in 1998 to £113 500. The social housing arm almost doubled operating profit to £1.6m. Civil engineering logged a pre-tax margin of 4.5% and profit of £10.3m. Special projects tripled profit to £1.6m on turnover of £129m.
The company’s private finance initiative roads, the A1M and the A147/A419, generated pre-tax profit of £1.1m. “After a lot of huff and puff, our three-year investment has now started to pay off. But it is still not reflected in our share price,” said Whitehead.