Sir Robert McAlpine has responded to a £200m drop in turnover by vowing to spend more of its time chasing Building Schools for the Future work, writes Andrew Hankinson.

The firm’s parent company, Newarthill, has released its financial results for the year ended 31 October 2009. The firm’s turnover has dropped from £1.8bn in 2008 to £1.6bn in 2009. But pre-tax profit almost doubled, rising from £33m in 2008 to £61m in 2009.

However, a note on the report said the firm would now be paying particular attention to finding Building Schools for the Future (BSF) work, given the weak state of the commercial market: “We face a substantial commitment to this part of our business. We are prioritising bidding on BSF projects.”

The firm has worked on BSF projects in the past, having won an eight-school deal in Newcastle in 2009. It previously won a seven-school deal in Gateshead.

We are prioritising the bidding of BSF projects McAlpine financial statement

The firm’s construction division celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2009. Highlights included handing over 724 flats at the former Highbury stadium in London to Arsenal Football Club, and continuing work on the 80,000-seat London Olympic stadium, where the external structure has now been finished.

It has also picked up several new contracts, such as the National Indoor Sport Arena and the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, both of which will be built in Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It is also tipped to take the £150m Milton Court office job at London’s Barbican after tabling a low bid.

The statement also said that the firm’s renewable energy division Renewable Energy Systems Holdings was hived off the construction core business in October last year and will now operate as a sister company.