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Financial performance: Contractors vie for position

A spate of mergers, acquisitions, administrations and strong performances from new entrants has resulted in significant changes to contractors’ positions within the CN100 index.

Turnover across the top 100 contractors is worth a combined £59.9bn, with pre-tax profit at £18.9bn. Compared with their previous financial years, the firms’ turnover rose 0.5 per cent and pre-tax profit was up 0.9 per cent.

Top 5 risers and fallers

CN100 2013 top risers and fallers

More than half the top 100 (58) grew turnover in 2013, while pre-tax profits were up for 39 firms.

Up and coming

Lakehouse takes the crown for the largest turnover growth across the CN100 and is also the highest new entry, after a 44 per cent rise in revenue to hit £153.7m. Pre-tax profit was also up by a healthy 84.6 per cent to almost £5m.

Another big hitter was McLaren Construction, with revenue growth of 41.2 per cent propelling it up 15 places, while Keepmoat’s sales rose 31.1 per cent in the year to March.

“The top 10 of the CN100 grew pre-tax profits by 1.5 per cent, despite the strain on margins over the past two years”

Doing less well, John Sisk & Son remains in the top half of the table but turnover fell 33.4 per cent in the 11 months to January 2013. GSH Group’s revenue also fell by a third, while CN100 re-entrant Winvic’s turnover has fallen 31.1 per cent since the 2013 index was published in September.

Lagan and GF Tomlinson were notable exits from this year’s roll call of top contractors. The latter slipped out after just a year in the table due to strong performances from the new and re-entries.

Alongside Lakehouse, Briggs & Forrester, FM Conway, Glassolutions Saint Gobain and McAleer & Rushe entered the CN100, while Canary Wharf Contractors, J Reddington, Keltbray, Tolent and Winvic re-entered the index.

Mixed bag

The top 10 contractors’ fortunes have been mixed: while they still make up 48 per cent of total CN100 turnover, this is 1.3 percentage points down on the previous year.

However, the top 10 grew pre-tax profits by 1.5 per cent, despite the strain on margins over the past two years. Laing O’Rourke saw the largest profit rise at 81.2 per cent, while Morgan Sindall had the largest fall - down 14.5 per cent year on year.

Four firms increased turnover, with Laing O’Rourke the highest at 11 per cent. Carillion’s turnover of £3.7bn was down 11.7 per cent - the largest fall of the top 10.

Since 2012, Kier has dropped out of the top five. Its replacement Mitie announced its exit from the M&E contracting market in May.

It wasn’t the only firm to make such a move: Emcor is no longer in the table after announcing its exit from UK construction to focus on work in facilities management.

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