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Top specialists taking over 50 days to pay invoices

Several major specialist contractors are taking more than 50 days to pay their suppliers, with one demolition firm averaging over 100 days, new data has revealed. 

Build UK has compiled the payment data of a total of 15 major specialists in a new update, having begun collecting data on its members following the first publication of the government’s payment reports in July.

Of the 15 specialists on Build UK’s list, demolition firm Brown and Mason was found to take the longest to pay invoices with an average of 103 days, with 66 per cent of its bills not paid within the agreed terms (see full table).

Concrete contractor Tamdown’s average was the next longest at 62 days, following by Expanded Structures (part of the Laing O’Rourke group) on 61 days.

The best performing specialist among the 15 featured was Carey Group, which took an average of 36 days to pay invoices.

Byrne Brothers and Getjar were both found to pay all their invoices within agreed terms, with Byrne averaging payment in 55 days and Getjar 45.

The figures in Build UK’s table are for all company payments, not just those related to construction work.

Among the clients in the Build UK table, the worst-performing was Great Portland Estates, which saw 73 per cent of its invoices not paid within agreed terms and took an average of 46 days.

British Land took 14 days to pay its invoices, with 9 per cent of invoices not paid on time; Landsec averaged 19 days, with 8 per cent exceeding terms; and Heathrow paid in 21 days, with 6 per cent of invoices late.

Build UK deputy chief executive Jo Fautley said: “The industry now has access to information on how a range of companies are paying their supply chains which can be used to make more informed decisions about who to work with.

“Changing payment practices that have been embedded within the industry for many years will take time, but this issue is now firmly in the spotlight and we have a clear benchmark to measure progress.”

The latest results table follow on from data analysed by Construction News in July, which showed that of the 20 largest UK contractors by turnover, Engie Regeneration (formerly Keepmoat Regeneration) took the longest to pay at 61 days.

However, the firm did pay 99 per cent of its invoices within agreed terms.

The data showed Willmott Dixon to be the promptest payer among the top 20, taking an average of 33 days to pay invoices and 92 per cent within agreed terms.

On Monday, Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds called for late-paying clients to be named and shamed.

Brown and Mason and Great Portland Estates have been contacted for comment.

Specialists’ payment performance (15 Build UK members)

SpecialistSpecialismInvoices not paid within termsAverage time taken to pay
Brown and Mason Demolition 66% 103 days
Tamdown Concrete 24% 62 days
Expanded Structures Concrete 28% 61 days
Byrne Brothers Concrete 0% 55 days
William Hare Steel 29% 51 days
Billington Steel 4% 49 days
Keltbray Demolition 11% 47 days
McGee Group Demolition 16% 47 days
Severfield Steel 17% 46 days
Getjar Concrete 0% 45 days
Cementation Skanska Ground engineering 4% 43 days
Erith Demolition 8% 39 days
AJ Morrisroe and Sons Concrete 8% 38 days
Carey Group Concrete 25% 36 days
Keller Ground engineering 15% 33 days

Readers' comments (2)

  • When are you going to provide the data for the bad client payers?
    Keep bashing the Main Contractors and specialists, but these payment practices tend to be as a result of woeful client payment practices, and the biggest culprit is Her Majesties Government departments and local authorities, particularly of the Red variety!!!.

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  • Column 3 "Invoices not paid within terms"

    The title of this column should be "Invoices not paid within terms forced upon supplier"

    No SME ever agrees to terms of more than 30 days EOM. They are TOLD what the terms will be, and good luck if you try to get them to agree to 30 days.

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