Sir Robert McAlpine’s profit fell 14% in the year to 31 October 2007.

The contractor attributed the drop, from £53.1m to £46m, to the previous year’s £20m recovery cost on its Dudley hospital PFI scheme in the Midlands.

A £100m loss on the £1bn project, incurred as a result of cost overruns and wrangles about scoping, put McAlpine in the red for three years. The contractor’s other costs in 2007 included write-offs of £2.6m (2006: £948,000).

Its turnover leaped 45%, from £1.25bn to £1.82bn, producing a margin of 2.5%. McAlpine described the year as “very busy and successful”. It was boosted by overseas work, including the US and the Caribbean.

The overall turnover figure included £1.34bn from contracting, £28.7m from property and £101.1m from PFI, including joint ventures.

UK turnover broke the £1bn barrier, up 44% from £993m to £1.4bn. A source close to the company said activity had picked up in the north-east of England and the retail sector.

The company’s highest-paid director received £737,972 (£664,261) in the year and the average salary across its 2,834 members of staff was £54,600.