Alfred McAlpine's purchase of utilities company Kennedy has raised doubts in the City over the future of the group's housebuilding business.
The company said the £52.2m purchase of Kennedy, first tipped in Building in January, was a significant step into the growing support services market.

Chief executive Oliver Whitehead said last week that Alfred McAlpine, whose turnover hit £839m last year, would be targeting support service bolt-ons this year.

Analysts described the purchase as a good move but questioned Alfred McAlpine's commitment to housebuilding, despite housebuilding returning margins of 12.8% last year.

It’s a very sensible move for the company. Of course it is turning away from housebuilding

City analyst