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Contracts hit 21-month low in July league table

The value of the top 50 contract wins table hit its lowest point for nearly two years in July as Kier notched up yet another league triumph.

 Top 10 contractors, Jul 2018  
  Click here for the full top 50  
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Kier 26 206.1
2 ISG 4 154.7
3 Graham 5 132.0
4 Lendlease 1 120.0
5 Galliford Try 8 112.0
6 Balfour Beatty 5 104.4
7 Morgan Sindall 17 96.9
8 Winvic 4 76.9
9 Vermont 1 75.0
10 Thomas Roy  1 70.0
  League tables are subject to revision 

The total value of contracts across the top 50, which ranks firms by deals secured during the month, slumped to £2.48bn in July, a fall of 31.5 per cent from the £3.57bn posted for June.

July’s figure was also 8.6 per cent lower than the same period of 2017, and marked the weakest month since the £1.93bn recorded for October 2016, according to construction intelligence provider Glenigan.

Kier clinched first place in July with contracts worth a combined £206.1m – the lowest winning monthly total since July 2017, when Galliford Try headed the league with £196.6m. 

Nevertheless, its triumph means Kier has topped four of the past eight monthly leagues dating back to December 2017.

With 26 deals secured, the contractor also bagged the most wins by number for the month, ahead of Morgan Sindall on 17 and Willmott Dixon with 12. 

Kier’s contracts included a £39m B&M distribution facility in Bedford and a £28m project for the Ada Lovelace School in west London.

Second place for July went to ISG with four wins worth £154.7m, marking its first podium finish since February 2017. Leading the firm’s deals for the period was the £120.7m Symmetry Park development in Darlington for joint clients, Db Symmetry and Durham Cathedral.

Graham grabbed third spot after scooping five mid-sized jobs, giving the contractor its highest position on record in the monthly ranking.

 Top 10 clients Jul 2018   Top 10 clients, year to Jul 2018 
  Click here for the full top 50     Click here for the full top 50  
  Client No Total (£m)   Client No Total (£m)
1 Department of Health 19 119.7   Department for Transport 38 4,105.3
2 Elliot  1 75.0   Department of Health 251 2,020.2
3 Department for Education 8 73.8   Network Rail 79 1,592.7
4 New River Retail 1 70.0   Manchester Airports Group 7 1,203.7
5 Whitbread 8 66.3   UK Parliament 3 772.0
6 Network Rail 4 61.8   Department for Education 99 761.4
7 Db Symmetry 1 60.4   National Grid 15 760.0
8 Durham Cathedral 1 60.4   SSE 7 470.4
9 Allied London  1 60.0   Greater London Authority 13 432.0
10 Manchester Airports Group 1 60.0   Ministry of Defence 23 431.4
  League tables are subject to revision    League tables are subject to revision 

The Department of Health claimed its first top spot in the monthly client table since January, despite awarding only low-to-medium-value contracts during the month. Elliot took second thanks to its £75m first phase of the Erskine Street project in Liverpool, which it has awarded to McLaren.

Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn and Costa Coffee, is a notable entry in fifth – its first appearance in the monthly top 10. The DfE also racked up a high volume of awards in July, driving its best ranking since October 2017.

There was little change in the top spots of the annual client table, with Network Rail losing ground to second-placed Department of Health while Manchester Airports Group closed the gap to third.

The Department for Education’s strong July saw it edge just above National Grid into seventh place for the period, while the Greater London Authority leapfrogged the Ministry of Defence to clinch eighth spot by a similarly slender margin. Homes England meanwhile returned to the top 10 for the year to July at the expense of Centro.

A handful of other contracts stood out despite July’s quiet spell, including the £75m first phase of Liverpool’s Erskine Street project, which was enough to give developer-contractor Vermont ninth place in the table.

In spite of the significant drop in combined value across the top 50 wins table, the number of contracts during July dipped only slightly, down to 198 compared with 220 in June.

This produced an average contract value of £12.5m for the month, down from £16.2m in June but higher than the £10.7m recorded for the same month of 2017.

 Top 10 contractors, year to Jul 2018 
  Click here for the full top 50  
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Kier  285 3,131.8
2 Balfour Beatty  69 2,593.1
3 Laing O’Rourke 22 2,212.0
4 Galliford Try  121 2,168.1
5 Wates 89 2,111.3
6 Vinci 40 1,785.0
7 Bouygues UK 29 1,783.3
8 Morgan Sindall 222 1,594.6
9 Royal Bam 70 1,330.4
10 Willmott Dixon  120 1,290.4
  League tables are subject to revision 

Looking at the annual table, Kier has now led the way for six periods running and boasts a sizeable gap to the chasing pack despite Balfour Beatty reclaiming second spot.

Laing O’Rourke rose from fifth to third for the year to July – its highest ranking since the table for the year to September 2017.

Wates fell from second to fifth, Morgan Sindall dropped from sixth to eighth and Sir Robert McAlpine slipped from ninth to 12th.

Sindall’s stumble allowed Vinci and Bouygues to move up to sixth and seventh, while Bam gained three place to ninth and ISG’s strong July sent it up four to 16th.

The combined value of the 12-month league declined for the third consecutive period, hitting £39.66bn for the year to July – down 2.7 per cent from the year to June and the first time it’s been below the £40bn mark since the table for the year to July 2017.

 Top 10 engineering consultants, Jul 2018 
  Click here for the full top 20  
  Engineering consultant No Total (£m)
1 Curtins  5 188.5
2 Couch Perry & Wilkes 9 156.8
3 JPG  2 136.7
4 Desco 2 130.7
5 WSP 9 125.1
6 TUV SUD  4 121.7
7 Crookes Walker  1 120.0
8 Howard Stanley Pratt  1 100.0
9 Hoare Lea  5 87.7
10 Clancy 4 85.1
  League tables are subject to revision 

Curtins secured its first league triumph since September 2017, while Couch Perry & Wilkes recorded its joint highest ranking on record, equal with December 2015. JPG Group meanwhile made its top 10 debut in third.

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