Alfred McAlpine is prowling for acquisitions to expand its Special Projects business and may look abroad for future buys.

The move follows four years of growth during which Special Projects shifted its focus from contracting to services such as development skills, site acquisition, funding, and design.

Since 1996 "profitability has more than doubled year on year", according to a company spokesperson.

Special Projects is looking at facilities management and development companies. A spokesperson said: "We are willing to talk to anyone we find interesting and wouldn't rule out non-UK-based companies."