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Scalpel sends Skanska to the summit for July but total wins down 21% on June

The total value of contract wins across the top 50 contractors in July was 4 per cent higher than the same month of 2012 but down 21 per cent compared with the previous month.

July’s total of £1.98bn was the lowest since February this year, though the number of deals remained relatively unchanged at 267 compared with 270 in June, highlighting a low average contract value for the month.

Top 50 contractors Jul 12-Jul 13

Indeed, the average contract value for the month was £7.4m, down from £9.3m in the previous month.

This is despite a number of major lucrative contracts being signed in July, led by the £500m Scalpel tower in London for US insurance firm WR Berkeley.

Skanska was awarded the prized contract for the 190 m-tall tower on Lime Street in the City, beating commercial rival Mace in the process.

This deal propelled Skanska to the summit of the contractor league table for July, its total for the month being worth more than double that of second-placed Balfour Beatty.

WR Berkley topped July’s client table thanks to the £500m Scalpel, but the stand-out performer for the month was undoubtedly Leeds City Council. The authority awarded a number of residential deals, led by a £40m 700-home residential development that will be delivered by Keepmoat-led consortium, Sustainable Communities for Leeds (Sc4L).

League stalwart the Department of Health climbed four places from its eighth place in June, with a higher average value of contract than the previous month. Propping up the top 10, Bristol Rovers Football Club has awarded the construction of its 20,000- seater stadium to Buckingham Group.

Balfour jumped one place from its third spot in June off the back of a £121m project to build 100 flats and a 21-storey hotel for Arora Hotels and AEG Europe, combined with a £50m student accommodation scheme for Urbanest, both in London.

Third-placed Kier moved up five from June and was among the busiest contractors in July, securing 24 contracts in all – more than any other top 50 firm over the month. The majority of these were small-scale public sector jobs, with a particular focus on the education and health sectors.

The top 10 clients over the year to July remained unchanged on June, though fifth-placed Department of Health’s annual haul was 12 deals and £40m smaller than the previous month.

The total value of deals across the top 10 in July was £9.76bn – representing an increase of 22 per cent on the £7.97bn recorded for July 2012. A number of big-name clients have dropped out of the top 10 league in the intervening 12 months, notably National Grid and Tesco, the latter having scaled backed its expansion programme amid more challenging market conditions.

Simons was a notable re-entrant to the top 50 for the month, taking fifth spot thanks chiefly to a £40m refurbishment and extension scheme at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Keepmoat also shot back up through the ranks having occupied 45thin June, driven by strong activity in the North of England.

The total value of contracts awarded in the 12 months to July 2013 was worth £25.58bn, with the top five taking almost a third of the value of total deals across the top 50 firms in the period.

Balfour Beatty returned to number one in the annual contractors table for the first time since April, having relinquished its grip on top spot first to Laing O’Rourke then Bam.

Morgan Sindall leapfrogged Laing O’Rourke to claim third, but despite winning 222 more contracts its total was worth only £34m more than O’Rourke. Kier took the highest haul for number of projects, but managed only fifth place in terms of value.

Costain climbed three places to seventh thanks to a number of deals including a £34m contract with the Highways Agency for work on A160/A180, while the £500m Scalpel catapulted Skanska from 17th in the 12 months to June to ninth for the 12 months to July.

EC Harris took top spot in July with a huge total, climbing from its fifth place in the previous month. Aecom also posted an impressive haul for July to retain second position, while across the top 10, the value of work won was more than double that in June, totalling £1.07bn.

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