BUILDING and design company Morgan Sindall – which has contracts worth £27m to regenerate Bournemouth town centre – has reported a drop in operating profits.

Morgan Sindall Group plc revealed that operating profit, before exceptional items, was down from £48.1m to £33.6m in 2013.

In its preliminary results for the year, the group – whose subsidiary Morgan Sindall has offices in Cabot Lane, Poole – said year-end net cash was up from £50m to £70m.

Morgan Sindall is delivering £27m of work as part of regeneration schemes worth £40m in Bournemouth.

Its projects include an £18m contract to build three blocks of accommodation for 378 students at the Madeira Road car park near the town centre.

A 382-space multi-storey car park for the public will be part of the development.

The company is also building a £9m five-storey block of 64 apartments at Leyton Mount in the town centre, along with a 3,120sqft commercial unit for a cafe or restaurant.

Its Poole office led the bid to secure Morgan Sindall’s appointment to Construction Framework South West, a procurement programme covering a range of public sector projects.

The framework governs a potential £1bn of works covering education, local government, health and community buildings, ranging from £1m to £30m in value.

Morgan Sindall’s recent projects include a £5.8m warehouse and industrial radiographic cell for Heatric in Poole, a £2m refurbishment and extension to Christchurch Library and a £1.5m extension to Heatherlands Primary School in Parkstone.

Graham Shennan, managing director of Morgan Sindall, said: “2013 was a busy year for Morgan Sindall despite challenging market conditions. The hard work of our people, combined with our collaborative relationships with supply chain and joint venture partners, has ensured that we have continued to secure strategically important contracts and framework positions across a wide range of market sectors.

“As a result, we enter 2014 with a strong order book and this, combined with our commitment to safe and sustainable working, delivering a fully integrated offering on complex projects, and a reputation for consistently delivering outstanding service to our customers, positions us well to take advantage of the upturn in our markets.”

The company said its committed order book was at £2.4bn – compared with £2.2bn in 2012 – and its regeneration and development pipeline had grown from £2.5bn to £3bn.