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Tarmac's £1bn deal skews August league table

Highways England’s national resurfacing deal gave Tarmac victory in the monthly league and produced a distorted August top 50 for the second year running.

 Top 10 contractors, August 2018  
  Click here for the full top 50  
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Tarmac 6 1,007.2
2 Galliford Try 14 237.0
3 Kier  31 218.6
4 Balfour Beatty 5 200.0
5 Willmott Dixon  15 156.6
6 Royal Bam 6 127.1
7 Murphy 4 127.0
8 Wates 10 115.7
9 Sir Robert McAlpine 4 92.9
10 Watkin Jones 1 85.0
  League tables are subject to revision 

The contract, valued at £1bn according to construction intelligence provider Glenigan, dragged the combined value of the monthly table’s wins to £3.86bn – the second highest total this year.

However, if the roads deal had been excluded, August’s figure would have been the second lowest of 2018. 

The £3.86bn total represented a 55 per cent increase on July’s combined pot, though was still 69 per cent below the same month of 2017, when HS2’s £6.6bn civils deals produced a similarly skewed August.

Tarmac’s top spot marked its first triumph in the monthly contractor league on record. It will play a leading role on Highways England’s £3.3bn resurfacing deal, which covers motorways and trunk roads and will span four years.

Galliford Try clinched second place in August’s top 50 table, which ranks contractors by wins sealed during the month, with 14 deals worth a combined £237m, just ahead of Kier in third on 31 contracts totalling £218.6m.

Balfour Beatty took fourth place for the month, with a £90m contract to deliver the University of Edinburgh’s new School of Biological Sciences underpinning a five-deal £200m haul.

August also saw Leeds City Council confirm that Balfour has replaced Carillion as the contractor on the £115m Leeds orbital road project.

 Top 10 clients Aug 2018   Top 10 clients, year to Aug 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 Transport 3 1007.0   Department of Health 248 2,107.4
2 University of Edinburgh 3 98.8   Department for Transport 41 1,950.9
3 Lum Chang 3 85.0   Network Rail 83 1,441.5
4 Leeds City Council 1 83.5   Manchester Airports Group  6 1,198.7
5 Redcliffe Parade 1 80.0   UK Parliament 4 872.0
6 National Grid 4 72.9   Department for Education 89 680.2
7 St Modwen  1 68.2   Homes England 17 591.7
8 University of Birmingham 5 66.7   Ministry of Defence 27 499.9
9 Department of Health 18 66.6   EDF Energy 7 434.4
10 LB of Ealing 1 65.0   NNB  5 433.0
  League tables are subject to revision    League tables are subject to revision 

The Department for Transport took first place in the monthly clients league for handing out Tarmac’s share of its £3.3bn four-year resurfacing framework. It was the DfT’s first top spot since the awarding of HS2’s civils deals in the same month of 2017. The University of Edinburgh clinched second with its School of Biological Sciences contract, given to Balfour Beatty, followed by Singapore developer Lum Chang and its £85m student accommodation scheme that will be delivered by Watkin Jones.

Despite topping the monthly table, the Department of Transport finally relinquished first place in the annual clients league after HS2’s civils packages fell outside the period covered. The Department of Health returned to top spot for the first time since the table for the year to February 2017. Elsewhere Homes England edged up from 10th to seventh after National Grid slipped six places to 13th. The MoD was up one place to eighth while EDF and NNB both returned to the top 10.

Elsewhere, notable wins for the month included Watkin Jones’ £85m student accommodation scheme in north London for Singapore developer Lum Chang, which sent the contractor to 10th in the table.

Looking at the overall top 50, the number of wins increased from 198 in July to 235 in August – though this figure was down slightly year on year from 245 in August 2017.

The average contract for the month stood at £16.4m, up from £12.5m in July but down from the distorted £50.4m recorded in the same month last year.

 Top 10 contractors, year to Aug 2018 
  Click here for the full top 50  
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Kier 306 2,960.4
2 Galliford Try 124 2,130.0
3 Wates  88 1,962.9
4 Laing O’Rourke 20 1,900.4
5 Balfour Beatty 63 1,700.2
6 Willmott Dixon  130 1,512.1
7 Morgan Sindall  194 1,349.2
8 Royal Bam 69 1,249.6
9 Bowmer & Kirkland 66 1,160.2
10 Bouygues UK 27 1,149.8
  League tables are subject to revision 

In the annual league table there were several significant changes, after the multi-billion-pound HS2 civils packages signed in August 2017 slipped outside the 12-month period covered.

Reigning champ Kier saw its annual haul reduced but was able to offset some of the damage with its decent showing in August, ensuring it retained first place for the seventh consecutive period.

Balfour Beatty fell from second to fifth place for the year to August, its haul reduced from £2.59bn to £1.70bn. This allowed Galliford Try to climb from fourth to second and Wates from fifth to third, neither of which were involved in the HS2 joint ventures.

Vinci, which won two HS2 packages worth £1.32bn and £1.15bn in JV with Balfour, tumbled from sixth to 22nd in the annual table.

The rankings for the year to August also saw Bouygues slide from seventh to ninth, Mace fall from 11th to 16th and Bowmer & Kirkland climb from 13th to ninth.

The combined value of the 12-month top 50 unsurprisingly fell sharply with the removal of the HS2 deals, down 14.4 per cent from £39.66bn to £33.94bn.

 Top 10 engineering consultants, Aug 2018 
  Click here for the full top 20  
  Engineering consultant No Total (£m)
1 Arup 6 719.8
2 Ramboll 3 243.0
3 Mott MacDonald 4 159.4
4 WYG 2 104.0
5 Cundall Johnston 6 97.9
6 Curtins 8 81.7
7 Elliott Wood 2 81.0
8 Renaissance 2 80.0
9 Atkins 6 76.2
10 Couch Perry & Wilkes  6 70.1
  League tables are subject to revision 

Arup took its first monthly engineers crown since June 2017, with Ramboll a distant second. Mott MacDonald claimed its first podium place since January while WYG’s fourth was its highest position for 19 months.

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