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Deals hit 2017 high on back of O'Rourke league win

The contractor top 50 posted strong growth all-round in March as the combined value of wins hit its highest point since November.

 Top 10 contractors, March 2017  
  Click here for the full top 50
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Laing O’Rourke 5 512.0
2 Kier 33 353.8
3 Bowmer & Kirkland 14 327.6
4 Morgan Sindall 28 214.0
5 Carillion 6 193.5
6 Mace 6 190.2
7 Willmott Dixon 19 144.7
8 Vinci 7 136.8
9 ISG 15 115.2
10 Royal Bam 10 106.1
  League tables are subject to revision  

Ranked by the value of deals sealed during the month, the top 50 firms recorded a total haul of £4.1bn in March, up 36.9 per cent from the £2.99bn secured in February.

March’s figure also represented significant year-on-year growth of 58.9 per cent compared with the £2.58bn posted in March 2016, according to construction intelligence provider Glenigan.

Laing O’Rourke led the way as it claimed first place in the monthly contractor table – its first triumph since August last year.

The company’s success in March was underpinned by the £350m deal to redevelop Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital near Cwmbran in Wales. The Welsh Government approved the plans for a ‘super hospital’ serving the Gwent region in October last year, with the facility expected to open in 2022.

This major win was one of five deals struck in March that took Laing O’Rourke’s total to £512m – its highest since a contract for the Thames Tideway Tunnel gave the firm a £850m winning haul in August 2016.

 Top 10 clients March 2017 Top 10 clients, year to Mar 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 of Health 29 443.3   Department for Transport 35 2,556.6
2 Network Rail 15 156.6   Department of Health 298 1,802.5
3 Department for Transport 3 154.0   Network Rail 109 1,307.1
4 Lodha 1 140.0   Ministry of Defence 49 1,071.3
5 Catalyst Housing 1 106.0   Henderson 4 863.0
6 Cheshire East Council 1 100.0   Homes & Communities Agency 18 626.8
7 Barings Real Estate 1 100.0   Department for Education 50 493.0
8 Leeds City Council 6 96.6   Scarborough Group 3 391.0
9 University of Hull 1 90.0   Argent 6 389.9
10 University of Cambridge 2 82.9   Aberdeenshire Council 15 378.1
  League tables are subject to revision   League tables are subject to revision

Client table stalwart the Department of Health recorded its first monthly league triumph since December 2015 thanks to a swathe of mid-sized projects combined with the £350m Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital revamp.

Network Rail was second with an impressive 15 awards in March, closely followed by the Department for Transport in what was a public sector-dominated top 10. Developer Lodha made its league debut meanwhile thanks to the £140m resi deal handed to Mace.

In the annual client table the Department for Transport retook the lead after several major Department of Health awards fell outside the period covered, offsetting its gains in March.

The remaining top 10 positions were largely unchanged, with the exception of Scarborough Group’s re-entry pushing National Grid down to 11th.

Kier came second in the monthly league having secured £353.8m-worth of contracts. The firm did however bag the highest number of individual deals for March, with 33 sealed over the period.

Bowmer & Kirkland took third place with a £327.6m haul covering 14 projects. Chief among these were two major jobs: a £100m Manchester office scheme for client Barings Real Estate, and the £100m regeneration of Crewe town centre, which will include a new cinema and bus interchange across a 1.9 ha site for Cheshire East Borough Council.

These significant wins gave B&K its first podium in the monthly contractor table for more than five years.

Morgan Sindall was fourth in March by value and second by number of deals, with 28, with Carillion fifth by value and Mace closely behind in sixth, the latter’s haul including a £140m residential project in London’s Mayfair.

Other notable winners over the period included Vinci, which will deliver £90m of student accommodation for the University of Hull, while Bam has been signed up to an £80m mixed-use scheme by Sheffield City Council.

The average contract value across March’s top 50 increased to £14.7m compared with £12.3m in February. It was also marginally higher than a year earlier in March 2016, when the average stood at £14.1m.

 Top 10 contractors, year to Mar 2017
  Click here for the full top 50
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Morgan Sindall 351 2,511.1
2 Laing O’Rourke 26 2,379.0
3 Kier 312 2,375.8
4 Royal Bam 86 1,925.3
5 Galliford Try 119 1,545.0
6 Balfour Beatty 62 1,467.2
7 Willmott Dixon 189 1,449.1
8 Lendlease 17 1,295.7
9 Multiplex 8 1,290.6
10 Carillion 56 1,250.8
  League tables are subject to revision  

The contractor league covering the 12 months to March saw Morgan Sindall retain its place at the summit. However, its lead was reduced significantly after Laing O’Rourke’s strong showing last month catapulted the firm into second place.

Kier was demoted to third – the first time it’s been outside the top two since November 2016 – while Bam, Galliford Try and Balfour Beatty held their positions below.

Willmott Dixon gained one place to take seventh and Lendlease climbed two into eighth, relegating Multiplex to ninth.

Wates fell five places to sit 14th, marking the first time it has sat outside the annual league’s top 10 in 12 months.

The top 50’s decent performance in March helped boost the annual table’s combined value, which grew an impressive 7.6 per cent compared with the year to February to stand at £35.94bn.

 Top 10 engineering consultants, Mar 2017
  Click here for the full top 20
  Engineering consultant No Total (£m)
1 WSP 4 524.7
2 Arup 7 256.6
3 AKT II  2 160.0
4 Cundall Johnston  6 153.2
5 Curtins  6 115.4
6 Capita 3 109.7
7 Waterman 4 92.2
8 Cudd Bentley 3 89.8
9 Hurley Palmer Flatt 3 81.5
10 Applied Energy 1 70.0
  League tables are subject to revision

WSP returned to the summit of the engineering consultants’ top 10 having last taken first place in December. Arup’s impressive run showed no signs of abating with another podium finish, while AKT II was third having also topped January only to fall outside the top 20 in February.

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