Housebuilder Wimpey has ruled itself out of mergers or acquisitions in the short term, claiming it is concentrating on integrating McAlpine Homes into the group. Wimpey bought the company for £463m last October.
Finance director Andrew Carr-Locke said the group had undergone radical changes in the last year, including the merger of Wimpey Homes and McLean Homes.

Carr-Locke said: “We feel our short-term objective is to make sure the performance of the group is right. There may be more long-term consolidation – we will look at opportunities as and when they come up.

“What we did last year were quite high-risk events. We have taken care that both the merger and the acquisition were well controlled.”

Carr-Locke said the group was in advanced talks to sell McAlpine’s Cumbria business, which has an asset value of £12m. He said: “There’s been a lot of interest so far.”

Wimpey said it had appointed a research and development manager to look at issues such as the skills shortage and construction methods.

The group said it was still looking to produce 12,000-13,000 units a year in the UK. The firm’s turnover rose 12% to £1.4bn for the year to 31 December 2001, and pre-tax profit climbed £35m to £181m.