David Fison, chief executive of Osborne, has overhauled the company’s structure since taking over as chief executive in January, writes Roxane McMeeken

The former boss of Skanska UK, who was also appointed to the board of the Olympic Delivery Authority this year, has shrunk the number of divisions from five to two (see box).

Speaking after the company revealed its results for the year ended 31 March 2009, Fison said the restructure would enable staff to more easily transfer skills between sectors.

The firm has also diversified into areas such as student accommodation and has standardised processes such as risk management across the company.

The contractor, civil engineer and property group made a pre-tax profit of £2.5m on turnover of £333.7m in 2009 (2008: £303.7m). Fison said: “The result is not bad but we need to do better”.

It marked a change in fortunes from 2008 when the West Sussex-based family-owned firm slipped £1.76m into the red as a result of two problem projects, and the £2m cost of setting up Innovaré Systems, a business that makes structural insulated panels for affordable housing.

Fison said: “Was launching Innovaré a good decision last year? I’d have to say no. But the market is still worth £25m and Innovaré will grow six or seven times as big once social housing comes back.”

Fison left Skanska UK in July 2008 after becoming chief executive in 2002. His exit followed what the Swedish parent company called a “clearly unsatisfactory” performance by the UK business. It made a £41.5m loss in the first six months of 2008 despite breaking the £1bn turnover mark for the first time.

Next week’s Building carries an interview with David Fison.

A snapshot of osborne

Before: Civil engineering, construction, homes, property services and rail
After: Projects (construction, housing and civils), and rail and property services

The numbers
£280m Order book at 31 March 2009
1,080 – number of staff after laying off 100 this year.

The projects
Customer Services Centre, Hackney, east London, worth £43m
Basildon University Hospital multi-storey car park, worth £8.1m