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Morgan Sindall leads the pack in February as total awards rocket 70% year on year

Morgan Sindall, Laing O’Rourke and Wates secured more than £1 billion of contracts between them in February, the latest top 50 contractor table reveals.

The league tables, from construction business intelligence provider Glenigan, show the three contractors scooped £1.03bn of work through 43 contract wins in the shortest month of the year.

Top 50 contractors Feb 11-Feb 12

February was a fruitful month across the board. The total amount of contract wins across the top 50 came to £3.26bn - up more than 70 per cent from the £1.9bn recorded in February 2011. It was also 55 per cent up on January, when £2.1bn-worth of contracts was won.

Morgan Sindall, which last month reported turnover of £2.2bn and pre-tax profit of £45m, took the top spot for the month, with £418m of work across 20 contracts. The contractor’s haul was almost as much as January’s top three put together.

The previous month had seen Vinci secure £172m-worth of contract wins, with Kier taking £170m and Willmott Dixon winning £116m.

Morgan Sindall’s total was also almost double the number one total in February 2011, when Galliford Try was top with £212m. Morgan Sindall was at number two this time last year, with £193m of work.

The contractor’s deals last month included a consortium it is leading on a £310m contract with National Grid to design, construct and commission 400 kV and 275 kV transmission substations.

Morgan Sindall’s executive chairman John Morgan told Construction News last month that he expects the firm’s focus on regeneration to pay dividends.

Mr Morgan said the firm is sticking to its strategy of not going overseas or pursuing support services, as other big firms such as Carillion and Balfour Beatty have done over the years.

The Greater London Authority jumps into the top spot due to the £300m award of the Crossrail contract for Liverpool Street to Laing O’Rourke, while the Department of Health moves up the chart from January to claim third.

Second-place Gaia Power appointed Spanish contractor Iberdrola to its £200m biomass power station in Cleveland, while two data centres for Santander, worth a combined £125m, were let to ISG. The top clients let £1.34bn of work in February, worth two-thirds more than in January.

February’s contract league table also includes Laing O’Rourke’s £300m Crossrail contract for Liverpool Street station. Laing O’Rourke’s total for the month was £361m across six contracts, taking it from 18th spot last month to the number two position this time around.

Wates closed a £100m private finance initiative housing scheme with Kirklees Council in February, which helped it towards its £215.6m total. The contractor signed off 17 contracts in the month.

With various Crossrail and London Underground awards making up the bulk of its total, the Greater London Authority maintains its top spot for the year to February, having let almost £2bn of work.

The transport trend is continued with Network Rail in second place, leapfrogging the Department of Health from last month, with infrastructure, particularly rail, set to be the main growth sector this year. Supermarket chains Tesco and Sainsbury’s maintain their positions in the annual league from January.

Other big wins included Spanish engineering and construction giant Iberdrola Ingenieria, which secured a £200m job to build a biomass power plant at Billingham, Teeside, for Gaia Power, securing it fourth place in the table.

Balfour Beatty continued to win smaller schemes, securing the highest number of projects in February’s table. The contractor closed 26 deals worth a combined £199.8m; in January it landed 19 projects worth a total of £81m.

Another large contract awarded last month was to Willmott Dixon, which is building a £100m private residential scheme in Greenwich for Cathedral Group.

Laing O’Rourke moved to the top of the pile in the annual contractors table, with £2.08bn of work secured between March 2011 and February 2012. This total is up from £1.69bn.

Balfour Beatty dropped from first position the month before to third place. Its total dropped from £1.76bn to £1.72bn. Kier has moved up from sixth to second.

The main clients in February included the Greater London Authority, which was behind the £300m Crossrail award. It remains at the top of the annual client table. Gaia Power was second last month after the award of the £200m biomass contract.

Work for the top 10 consulting engineers came in at more than three times the amount won in January, at £1.67bn, though almost 60 per cent of the value was for the top three. Arup slips to eighth, from second in January.

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