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McAlpine slips down annual league while Wates tops May

Steady top-50 activity in May saw Wates bag its first ever monthly league top spot and Sir Robert McAlpine fall back in the annual table.

 Top 10 contractors, May 2018  
  Click here for the full top 50  
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Wates 6 694.1
2 Henry  7 309.0
3 Galliford Try 7 159.1
4 Graham 4 137.0
5 Balfour Beatty 7 124.2
6 Morgan Sindall  21 116.2
7 Willmott Dixon  7 101.3
8 Lendlease 1 100.0
9 Sir Robert McAlpine 4 87.5
10 Bouygues UK 2 80.0
  League tables are subject to revision 

The total value of contracts in May’s league, which ranks contractors by the value of deals sealed in the month, dipped just 10.9 per cent compared with April’s to stand at £3.35bn.

Wates claimed first place in the monthly table for the first time on record thanks to its contract for the £500m renovation of Parliament’s Northern Estate.

The contractor will refurbish several parliamentary offices in Westminster under the contract covering around 15,300 sq m of floorspace, working on buildings including Norman Shaw North and South, 1 Parliament Street and 1 Derby Gate.

The Northern Estate deal was one of six bagged by Wates for the month worth some £694.1m in total, according to Glenigan.

Henry Bros took a strong second place in May – marking the contractor’s first ever appearance in the monthly top 10 having recorded a previous high of 13th in April 2016.

Seven contracts went to Henry during the month worth a combined £309m, one of which was the £118m deal to deliver the Dane’s Yard scheme in east London – phase one of developer Vastint UK’s mixed-use scheme on the site. 

May also saw Henry Bros finalise the £100m Taberner House scheme in south London, which will deliver a 35-storey build-to-rent tower for Legal & General and Hub.

 Top 10 clients May 2018   Top 10 clients, year to May 2018 
  Click here for the full top 50     Click here for the full top 50  
  Client No Total (£m)   Client No Total (£m)
1 UK Parliament 2 750.0   Department for Transport 40 4118.5
2 Vastint 2 172.4   Department of Health 272 2083.6
3 University of Brighton 2 84.0   Network Rail 83 1265.4
4 One Housing  1 81.0   Manchester Airports Group 7 1158.7
5 Global Infrastructure Partners 2 80.7   UK Parliament 4 871.0
6 Department of Health 19 80.1   Department for Education 92 856.2
7 University of York 1 80.0   National Grid 15 762.3
8 National Grid 2 61.0   Ministry of Defence 26 691.8
9 Home Group 1 53.0   Greater London Authority 17 572.8
10 Legal & General  3 51.5   Vastint 12 450.1
  League tables are subject to revision    League tables are subject to revision 

UK Parliament took top spot in the monthly client league after handing Wates the £500m Northern Estates deal, with developer Vastint UK in second having awarded Henry Bros its £118m contract for the Dane’s Yard project in east London.

University of Brighton edged out several tightly packed competitors in the battle for third place in May’s table, as it undertakes several major campus and student accommodation projects. It was one of two universities in the top 10 for the month, alongside York.

There was little change to the top two clients in the annual league, but Battersea Power Station’s developer exited the top 10 after its £1bn third phase fell outside the period covered – just as its contractor Sir Robert McAlpine tumbled having been third in the annual contractor table.

Elsewhere, seventh-placed National Grid lost ground on Department for Education in sixth. Parliament made its annual table debut in fifth, as did Vastint UK in 10th, with Homes England the client to make way.

Galliford Try took third spot in May – the company’s second podium finish of 2018, having scooped the runner-up berth back in January.

Other contracts worthy of note that were handed out in May included a £100m refurbishment of Richmond House in central London, for which Lendlease will be the main contractor.

Looking at volume rather than value, the monthly top 50 comprised 192 contracts in May, down from 254 in April. This resulted in an average contract value for May of £17.5m, up from £14.8m in April but down from £19.6m in the same month of 2017.

 Top 10 contractors, year to May 2018 
  Click here for the full top 50  
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Kier 281 3,179.3
2 Balfour Beatty 73 2,820.7
3 Galliford Try 128 2,452.6
4 Wates 98 2,338.7
5 Morgan Sindall  262 2,108.3
6 Vinci 44 1,914.8
7 Laing O’Rourke 23 1,875.6
8 Bouygues UK 35 1,668.7
9 Willmott Dixon  134 1,542.2
10 Sir Robert McAlpine   34 1,498.3
  League tables are subject to revision 

The monthly top 50’s value was also down year on year by 25.4 per cent, having hit £4.5bn in May 2017. However, that month was inflated by Sir Robert McAlpine’s £1bn contract for phase three of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment.

In the annual contractor league, McAlpine’s Battersea deal slipped outside the rolling 12-month period covered, which saw the contractor fall from third all the way to 10th.

Kier’s substantial lead at the top of the annual table narrowed after several of its contracts also fell outside the period in question, while Balfour Beatty maintained second place despite a similar fall in its haul. 

Elsewhere Wates’ strong May saw it rocket from ninth to an all-time high of fourth in the 12-month league. Vinci leapfrogged Laing O’Rourke into sixth, while Henry climbed from 24th to 17th. 

The combined value of the annual top 50 fell sharply for the year to May, dropping 5.8 per cent compared with the year to April table to stand at £40.8bn.

 Top 10 engineering consultants, May 2018 
  Click here for the full top 20  
  Engineering consultant No Total (£m)
1 WSP 4 984.7
2 Aecom 2 651.0
3 Curtins 10 184.3
4 Arup 3 172.0
5 Tully De’Ath 2 126.0
6 DSA 1 100.0
7 WME 1 100.0
8 Ramboll  2 88.0
9 Hoare Lea 8 81.9
10 BDP 2 79.0
  League tables are subject to revision 

WSP dominated the engineers table for May in its first league victory since December. Aecom took the runner-up spot for the second month in a row, while Curtins secured its highest position since topping September 2017.

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