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Balfour tops August as Sindall finally loses annual crown

Morgan Sindall has been forced off the summit of the annual contractor rankings after 11 consecutive periods, as HS2’s huge civils deals gave Balfour Beatty the monthly league title.

 Top 10 contractors, August 2017  
  Click here for the full top 50
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Balfour Beatty 10 1664.6
2 Vinci 10 1305.4
3 Laing O’Rourke 2 1110.0
4 Kier 24 695.6
5 Costain 3 589.4
6 Skanska 2 580.0
7 Strabag 2 580.0
8 Carillion 3 506.7
9 ABB 1 500.0
10 Lendlease 1 500.0
  League tables are subject to revision 

August saw £6.6bn of phase one HS2 contracts as well as major deals for Laing O’Rourke and Lendlease, all of which combined to push Morgan Sindall down from first to fourth in the 12-month table, according to construction intelligence provider Glenigan.

In the monthly league, Balfour Beatty clinched its first victory since April 2016 thanks primarily to its share of the HS2 packages, which made up more than half the combined value of wins across the top 50 firms ranked by deals sealed during the month.

HS2’s phase one winners for the Birmingham to London section, having been revealed first by Construction News in July, were officially confirmed in early August.

Balfour Beatty / Vinci secured the two packages for the northern section of the route, which are set to be worth around £2.47bn to the two contractors. Their share of the phase one deals was the largest of all the winners, giving Balfour and Vinci first and second place in August.

The other HS2 winners were Skanska / Costain / Strabag, which scooped the £1.74bn southern packages; Carillion / Kier / Eiffage, which walked off with the £1.36bn central sections; and Bouygues / Sir Robert McAlpine / VolkerFitzpatrick, which secured the £965m Chiltern Tunnel and Colne viaduct.

 Top 10 clients August 2017   Top 10 clients, year to Aug 2017 
  Click here for the full top 50     Click here for the full top 50  
  Client No Total (£m)   Client No Total (£m)
1 Department for Transport 8 6454.7   Department for Transport 51 7524.1
2 Manchester Airport 2 1005.0   Ministry of Defence 43 1144.0
3 National Grid 1 500.0   Manchester Airport Group 6 1061.9
4 UOL  1 500.0   Network Rail 102 1000.3
5 London Borough of Ealing 6 387.4   Department of Health 268 886.7
6 DICO  1 240.0   Homes & Communities Agency 18 763.1
7 Jackson’s Row  1 200.0   National Grid 15 619.2
8 Vastint 7 176.7   Tata 14 542.8
9 Quintain  2 168.3   Pennon 9 509.7
10 EDF  1 125.0   LB of Ealing 23 501.7
  League tables are subject to revision    League tables are subject to revision 

The Department for Transport topped the monthly client table thanks to HS2, while Manchester Airport took second after handing Laing O’Rourke a £1bn redevelopment contract.

Major individual contracts dominated the top 10 for August, National Grid sealing third having awarded ABB a £500m electrical connector deal. It shared this position with UOL, the developer behind the £500m contract for the 43-storey 150 Bishopsgate in London being delivered by Lendlease.

Having recently come under pressure from the Department of Health, its HS2 deals now mean the DfT is likely to have the annual client table sown up for the next 12 months.

The Ministry of Defence replaced the Department of Health in second after the latter fell to fifth and Network Rail slipped from third to fourth. Manchester Airport Group made its top-10 debut in third, National Grid climbed from 19th to seventh, and the Department for Education fell out of the table for the first time since April 2014.    

Away from HS2’s bonanza, Laing O’Rourke finalised a £1bn deal to redevelop Manchester Airport, including delivering a new ‘super-terminal’ – enough to give the firm third place in August’s league.

Lendlease sealed a £500m contract for 150 Bishopsgate with client UOL, while ABB won a £500m electrical connector contract for National Grid – giving the two contractors a share of ninth place for the month.

The combined value of deals secured in August by the top 50, ranked by wins over the period, was £12.35bn – comfortably the highest figure for a single monthly table on record. While something of an anomaly due to HS2, the monthly total was nevertheless 169 per cent higher than the same month of 2016.

 Top 10 contractors, year to Aug 2017 
  Click here for the full top 50  
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Sir Robert McAlpine 35 2,859.4
2 Laing O’Rourke 32 2,805.6
3 Balfour Beatty 70 2,718.1
4 Morgan Sindall  348 2,604.0
5 Kier 263 2,603.0
6 Vinci 68 2,299.1
7 Lendlease 13 2,199.5
8 Galliford Try 131 1,928.2
9 Royal Bam 79 1,607.2
10 Carillion 54 1,550.3
  League tables are subject to revision 

This month of unprecedented contract activity resulted in significant upheaval in the league covering the 12 months to August. 

Morgan Sindall’s £162.3m August haul would usually be considered a strong result, yet was only good enough for 20th in this monthly league and could not prevent Sir Robert McAlpine, Laing O’Rourke and Balfour Beatty all moving ahead of Sindall in the annual table.

Second-placed O’Rourke would have topped the 12-month league but for the £850m St James development, which has now fallen outside the period covered.

Balfour Beatty was perhaps the most notable mover following its HS2 success, returning to the annual top three for the first time since the 12 months to July 2016.

Vinci shot up from 14th to sixth, Carillion re-entered the top 10 and Skanska rose from 18th to 12th.

Galliford Try and Bam were among those to suffer from the glut of activity, each slipping three places to eighth and ninth respectively.

 Top 10 engineering consultants, Aug 2017 
  Click here for the full top 20  
  Engineering consultant No Total (£m)
1 Buro Happold 3 1,273.7
2 Jacobs 1 1,000.0
3 WSP 8 629.3
4 Curtins  10 180.4
5 Arup 5 169.6
6 Hurley Palmer Flatt 2 146.5
7 Cundall Johnston 5 146.0
8 Waterman  6 126.9
9 Scott-White & Hookins 2 100.0
10 Clarke Bond 1 100.0
  League tables are subject to revision 

Buro Happold took top spot for the second month running in the engineers table –  the first company to do so since Arup in November 2016. WSP also stayed put in third, while Jacobs was second having been fourth in July.

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