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Top 50 contractors rally as Kier tops October

A stand-out total of 30 contracts in just one month gave Kier top spot in the monthly league table for October, as the value of combined wins recovered from September’s crash.

 Top 10 contractors, October 2017 
  Click here for the full top 50  
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Kier 30 284.1
2 Royal Bam 11 234.7
3 Interserve 15 213.6
4 John Sisk & Sons 4 210.7
5 Ardmore 2 180.0
6 Bowmer & Kirkland 8 176.0
7 Galliford Try 17 172.5
8 Balfour Beatty 9 170.2
9 Sir Robert McAlpine 3 167.7
10 Carillion 3 156.5
  League tables are subject to revision 

The top 50 contractors table, which ranks firms by contracts won during the period, increased its total value month on month by 47.8 per cent – from £2.55bn in September to £3.77bn in October.

Last month’s top 50 haul was also nearly double that recorded in the same month of 2016, when combined wins amounted to just £1.93bn. 

Top of the pile in October was Kier, which signed an impressive 30 deals totalling more than £284m, including a £44m contract for work on the Northstowe Special Academy in Cambridge, according to construction intelligence provider Glenigan.

October marked the contractor’s first monthly league triumph since the final month of 2016, having subsequently also been a runner-up in March, July and September this year. 

Bam took second place for the period – its highest ranking in exactly two years – having bagged 11 deals valued at £234.7m combined.

Interserve secured third in October, 15 deals worth £213.6m giving the firm its first monthly podium finish since November 2014. The troubled contractor is looking to bounce back after issuing a fresh profit warning last month and revealing that it may breach its banking covenants.

 Top 10 clients October 2017   Top 10 clients, year to Oct 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 30 265.4   Department for Transport 46 5,267.5
2 Department for Education 12 172.2   Battersea Power Station DC 3 1,607.0
3 Ministry of Defence 5 130.5   Ministry of Defence 41 1,181.4
4 IM Properties 2 109.8   Department of Health 253 1,148.3
5 Transport for London 2 105.3   Network Rail 93 1,099.3
6 Bidwells 1 100.0   Manchester Airports Group 6 1,061.9
7 Spitfire Properties 1 100.0   Homes & Communities Agency 18 753.2
8 Times Two Securities  1 80.0   National Grid 14 625.0
9 Forth Valley College 1 70.0   Department for Education 56 569.6
10 Network Rail 3 62.0   Greater London Authority 29 529.0
  League tables are subject to revision    League tables are subject to revision 

For the second consecutive month it was the Department of Health that headed up the monthly client table, handing out an impressive 30 contracts worth £265.4m over the period – around £120m more than the previous month, when it also topped the table.

The Department for Education stood out in second – its first top-10 appearance since June – having awarded a substantial 12 contracts in October. The Ministry of Defence rounded off an all-public podium, in what was also its highest position since June.

There was no change in the top four for the annual client table covering the year to October, though the Department for Transport’s mammoth lead did narrow slightly from the year to September.

Network Rail switched places with Manchester Airports Group to take fifth, while National Grid clambered up on place into eighth for the period. The Department for Education’s busy October saw it re-enter the annual top 10 in ninth, having been 14th, while the Greater London Authority fell two spots to sit 10th.

Sisk meanwhile narrowly missed out on the top three for the month, despite winning a £190m deal to replace a clinical building at Great Ormond Street Hospital as part of phase four the flagship hospital’s redevelopment.

Ardmore was fifth for the period, having clinched £100m contracts for two hotels in east London for Union Hotels and Accor, while Sir Robert McAlpine scooped another of the month’s stand-out awards with its £100m deal to build what will be HMRC’s new Cardiff office.

In terms of volume, October’s top 50 racked up 250 contract wins over the period, up from 206 in September. This produced an average contract value of £15.1m, up from £12.4m in the previous month and £8.4m in October 2016.

 Top 10 contractors, year to Oct 2017 
  Click here for the full top 50  
  Contractor No Total (£m)
1 Sir Robert McAlpine 34 3,031.0
2 Balfour Beatty 73 2,705.4
3 Morgan Sindall 333 2,685.5
4 Kier 261 2,559.0
5 Laing O’Rourke 30 2,213.2
6 Vinci 63 2,210.6
7 Galliford Try 148 1,934.8
8 Carillion 49 1,627.0
9 Royal Bam 78 1,569.6
10 Willmott Dixon 156 1,372.1
  League tables are subject to revision 

Looking at the 12-month contractor league, Balfour Beatty soared back into the top two for the first time since the table covering the year to May 2015. 

Nevertheless, the gulf to first-placed Sir Robert McAlpine remained substantial at more than £325m, SRM retaining its lead for the third period running.

Laing O’Rourke slid to fifth place for the year to October, having been second for the year to September, with Kier able to climb to fourth as a result.

Elsewhere Lendlease dropped to 19th from seventh after a large part of its haul fell outside the period covered, while Interserve recovered to 14th having fallen to 21st.

Despite the month-on-month increase in the value of the monthly league, the annual table declined slightly as several major projects slipped outside the period covered. The combined value of the top 50 for the year to October fell to £44.52bn, down 1.4 per cent compared with the year to September.

 Top 10 engineering consultants, Oct 2017 
  Click here for the full top 20  
  Engineering consultant No Total (£m)
1 Aecom 6 295.0
2 Baynham Meikle 1 200.0
3 Applied Energy 2 180.0
4 Hoare Lea 6 165.5
5 Curtins 10 114.0
6 Copeland Wedge 1 100.0
7 Jonathan Richard 1 100.0
8 Manhire 1 100.0
9 Arup 5 97.8
10 Waterman 5 97.0
  League tables are subject to revision 

Aecom took its first monthly league triumph since May 2016, Baynham Meikle made its first appearance in the top 10 since July 2014, and Applied Energy’s third place represented only its second ever top-10 placing.

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