Alfred McAlpine is in talks with premier league football clubs to take over the facilities management of their stadiums, writes Gordon Jon Thompson.
Oliver Whitehead, chief executive of the contractor, said that FM firm Stiell Facilities, which McAlpine bought earlier this month for £85m, had formed a specialist team to target the stadium market. Stiell manages maintenance and IT for Glasgow Celtic's Celtic Park stadium.

Whitehead said: "There's a market that is very fragmented and Stiell has an opportunity to tap into that. Not many clubs are outsourced at the moment, but most are run as businesses, and that gives us the opportunity."

Whitehead added that Stiell would enable McAlpine to win lucrative, long-term maintenance contracts on stadiums that it builds.

He made his remarks as McAlpine posted its results for the year to 31 December 2001.

The figures showed that pre-tax profit on McAlpine's non-housing businesses rose 12% to £23.2m and profit from its housing division added another £19m. Turnover on its non-housing businesses increased from £354.6m in 2000 to £530.4m last year.

The housing business was last year sold to Wimpey to raise money for acquisitions.

Operating profits from the group's capital projects division, which includes construction and civil engineering, increased £1.7m in 2000 to £18.1m on a turnover of £335m.

Operating profit at McAlpine's support services and investments business more than quadrupled from £1.9m to £7.1m in 2001. That division includes McAlpine's five PFI investments, which returned a pre-tax profit of £2.3m, up from £1.9m.

Turnover for the division leaped from £46.6m to £195.4m, thanks mainly to the acquisition of utilities businesses Kennedy and Ryan last year.

McAlpine announced that it has merged its two civil engineering businesses into one nationwide operation. The businesses had been split into east and west divisions. Brian Melling, managing director of the separate businesses, will continue in that role in the combined operation.