Edinburgh-based Morrison Construction has sent the City a signal of its aggressive expansion plans by appointing its first ever director of corporate development.

Iain Robertson, 50, joins from economic development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise, where he was chief executive. He starts work on 1 October with a brief to develop and expand the business. City analysts say this could involve acquisitions in the facilities management sector, where Morrison has been increasing its presence.

Chairman Sir Fraser Morrison broke the news at Morrison’s annual meeting last week. Sir Fraser also revealed that Morrison’s order book has grown to £1.1bn from £1bn since its year-end in May.

Also at the meeting, shareholders voted to change the company’s name from Morrison Construction to Morrison plc, reflecting its shift away from its established markets.