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Contract wins plummet in March as Balfour tops table

Top-50 contract wins were down month on month and year on year in March as Balfour pipped Kier to the league summit.

 Top 10 contractors, March 2018  
  Click here for the full top 50  
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Balfour Beatty 6 289.8
2 Kier 26 258.8
3 Bouygues UK 2 133.0
4 Royal Bam 10 132.9
5 Winvic  4 129.5
6 Buckingham  7 127.8
7 VolkerWessels 4 110.0
8 Ardmore 1 105.0
9 Bowmer & Kirkland 9 101.9
10 Morgan Sindall 11 100.3

League tables are subject to revision 

The combined value of wins across the top 50 table, which ranks contractors by the value of deals sealed during the month, stood at just £2.95bn in March – down 19.6 per cent compared with the £3.67bn recorded for February.

It was an even bleaker picture when comparing year on year: last month’s £2.95bn was 27.9 per cent lower than the same period of 2017, when wins totalled £4.01bn.

Balfour Beatty clinched first place for March having bagged £289.8m-worth of projects in March, giving the firm its first win in the monthly league since August 2017.

The contractor secured six contracts during the month, according to construction intelligence provider Glenigan, including a £200m mixed-use development for King’s College London (pictured).  

The project will see Balfour deliver 643 student homes for the university, as well as office units, exhibition space and a new pedestrian route. Overseen by developer Urbanest, the central London project will also incorporate remains of the city’s 2,000-year-old Roman Wall.

Kier followed close behind in second place in March having finalised 26 contracts – the highest number of any firm in the top 50 by some distance. The company has now been in the top two in the past five monthly league tables.

Underpinning Kier’s high-volume haul for the month was a £100m scheme in conjunction with Equitix for the University of Leicester. The average contract value of the firm’s remaining 25 wins for the period was £6.4m.

 Top 10 clients March 2018   Top 10 clients, year to Mar 2018 
  Click here for the full top 50     Click here for the full top 50  
  Client No Total (£m)   Client No Total (£m)
1 Urbanest 1 200.0   Department for Transport 41 3,897.3
2 Department of Health 25 119.0   Department of Health 268 1,962.4
3 Imperial College 2 105.5   Battersea Power Station DC 3 1,607.0
4 LB of Tower Hamlets 1 105.0   Manchester Airports Group 8 1,163.3
5 Equitix 1 100.0   Network Rail 78 1,125.7
6 Roxhill 2 82.0   Department for Education 91 839.6
7 Argent 1 77.7   Greater London Authority 32 671.9
8 University of Oxford 3 77.5   National Grid 17 587.7
9 Mulberry Property 1 76.0   Pennon  10 553.7
10 Department for Education 10 69.2   Ministry of Defence 29 536.7
  League tables are subject to revision    League tables are subject to revision 

Urbanest was the top client in March on account of its £200m mixed-use development in partnership with King’s College London, which it awarded to Balfour Beatty. The Department of Health claimed second – it has now been in the top two in six of the past seven monthly client league tables.

Education featured strongly throughout the top 10, with Imperial College third for its £105m student housing scheme for Ardmore, while Oxford University took eighth and the DfE 10th.

No change in the top two of the annual clients league, as the Department of Transport and DoH both increased their totals. Manchester Airports Group assumed fourth place after Network Rail’s haul declined 12 per cent compared with the year to February.

The Greater London Authority leapt four places to seventh, pushing National Grid down to eighth, while Pennon gained one spot to sit ninth at the expense of the Ministry of Defence and Homes England (formerly the Homes and Communities Agency).

Bouygues UK clinched third for March with just two deals worth £133m combined, led by the £105m contract to deliver Tower Hamlets Council’s new town hall and civic centre in east London.

Elsewhere Ardmore took eighth spot having sealed a £105m student accommodation scheme for Imperial College London, while developer Cole Waterhouse confirmed Forrest as main contractor on the £68m No1 Old Trafford residential project. 

Despite the month-on-month decline in the combined top 50’s value, the actual number of wins secured in March was identical to February at 223. This put the average contract value at £13.2m, down from £16.5m in February and £14.7m in March 2017.

 Top 10 contractors, year to Mar 2018 
  Click here for the full top 50  
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Kier 278 3,054.1
2 Balfour Beatty 75 2,925.5
3 Sir Robert McAlpine 30 2,845.5
4 Galliford Try 138 2,426.1
5 Laing O’Rourke 23 2,322.3
6 Morgan Sindall  276 2,248.1
7 Vinci 47 2,137.9
8 Bouygues UK 33 1,757.1
9 Wates 95 1,556.5
10 Willmott Dixon 139 1,532.0

League tables are subject to revision 

In the league table covering the year to March 2018, Balfour Beatty climbed from fourth to second on the back of its strong month – its highest position since the league for the year to October 2017.

Morgan Sindall leapfrogged Vinci to take sixth place in the annual table, while Bouygues’ performance last month saw it edge up from ninth to eighth, leaving Wates to take its former place after gaining three places.

In contrast, Mace slipped from eighth to 12th in the 12-month league, while Skanska UK was down three to 18th.

There was a significant fall in the combined value of the annual table, as total wins for the year to March hit £42.13bn – down 2.1 per cent compared with £43.02bn for the year to February. 

 Top 10 engineering consultants, Mar 2018 
  Click here for the full top 20  
  Engineering consultant No Total (£m)
1 Hoare Lea 9 248.6
2 MTT 1 200.0
3 Robert Bird 1 200.0
4 Curtins 6 173.2
5 Arup 5 155.0
6 WSP 5 147.9
7 Atelier Ten 2 118.2
8 Elliott Wood 2 110.0
9 Ramboll  4 105.3
10 Aecom 6 94.9
  League tables are subject to revision 

Hoare Lea took top spot in the engineers table for the second consecutive month – the first time that has been done since Buro Happold in July-August 2017. MTT meanwhile made its first appearance since May 2016. 

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