McAlpine upbeat despite covid-19 denting profit and turnover

Sir Robert McAlpine chief executive Paul Hamer

Sir Robert McAlpine declared itself positive about the outlook ahead despite making a £26.8m pre-tax loss in 2020, as it responded to the challenge of covid-19.

The business saw its annual turnover fall to £819.5m, compared to just over £1bn in 2019.

It said the downturn in the past year was “unsurprising” but that it had been able to react quickly to mitigate some of the effects of the pandemic and cash balances remained healthy at £96.7m, with no debt at the year end.

McAlpine said a strategic review aimed at bolstering its resilience in unpredictable markets, combined with its response to the pandemic led it to restructure and focus on projects in key sectors, resulting in an increase in productivity.

It forecast that it is on track to deliver to its full year budget for the 2020/21 financial year, with revenue and profit returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, its pipeline of total secured and nearly secured work stands at £2.3bn at the half year.

Paul Hamer, chief executive officer, Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “This unpredictable financial year has been incredibly challenging for our people, our industry, the wider economy and society at large. Yet, despite this, we remain focused on constructing a brighter future.

“Our positive outlook is built on a solid order book and healthy pipeline of opportunity alongside the hard lessons learned during the pandemic and the sheer brilliance of our people innovating each day to keep our projects delivering safely. This has helped us to forge strengthened relationships with our clients and supply chain partners.

“More than ever, we remain committed to becoming the Best Place to Work, placing Sir Robert McAlpine as a flexible, agile and inclusive business that welcomes everyone. I am resolute that these testing times, and the temporary financial impact of covid-19, should not deter us from progress but galvanise us to strive for true change in the critical areas of climate change, equality and the digital transformation of construction.”

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