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Contractors nearly double March job wins

The top 50 contractors won £4.4bn last month compared with £2.2bn in March 2008, as the elite enjoyed their best month for nearly a year

March proved to be the best month in a year for the top 50 contractors after they scooped £4.44 billion of work, 98 per cent up on March 2008.

Last month’s top 50 were strong from top to bottom according to the latest Glenigan construction league tables.

The elite won 245 jobs between them, with the top 10 each helping themselves to more than £100 million of work.

By contrast the top 50 in March 2008 won £2.24 billion from 205 jobs, 98 per cent down on last month.

Meanwhile at the bottom, contractors needed to win £11.5 million of work to make the top 50 in March, 37 per cent more than was needed in January and 29 per cent more than February.

Last month’s total was the biggest since last April when the top 50 bagged £6.38 billion, but that amount was boosted by two £1 billion plus hauls from Mace and Siemens.

March’s total eclipses January’s six month high of £3.9 billion and is £1 billion more than February’s £3.43 billion.

The top 50 clients opened their cheque books in March penning 113 deals worth £3.96 billion compared with 84 deals worth £3.16 billion in February.

Energy contracts continue to bolster the top 50’s books allowing some unfamiliar firms to appear at the top of the league tables.

Specialist energy firms UK Nuclear Waste, Offshore Design Engineering and ABB won £1.37 billion of work in March from just three jobs.

But the familiar names of Balfour Beatty and Carillion are beginning to open up a lead at the top after the first three months of 2009.

Balfour has now won £1.26 billion of work this year with March’s table topper Carillion on £1.11 billion.

But the construction industry’s long time third biggest player Laing O’Rourke is well behind with £275.4 million so far.

Costain, Kier and Morgan Sindall are all above Laing O’Rourke since January with £533.3 million, £472.3 million and £374.6 respectively.

A vastly contrasting picture has emerged between Northern Ireland and London, the least and most lucrative places for contractors respectively.

The top 10 contractors in the capital have won 202 jobs over the past year worth £6.66 billion compared with just 41 jobs worth £302.7 million in Northern Ireland.

Education continued to be a lucrative source of work for contractors with the top 10 all boosting their books, adding £500 million in total between them.

It was a good month for architects also, with the top 10 winning 24 jobs worth £905.6 million compared with previous month’s £736.6 million from 21 jobs.

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