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Wed July 30th 2014

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Top 100 Construction Companies 2013

Nick Hood of Company Watch analyses the figures to see who’s up, who’s down and how the UK’s top contractors are faring.

This year’s Top 100 Construction Companies reveals a distinctly mixed picture of falling margins, widespread stagnation and some sad failures. Once again, the total turnover of this premier league of contractors has hardly moved, rising just 1.1% since 2012. More worryingly, their profitability has fallen sharply, with total profits falling by a third from £1.2bn to only £791m, reflecting increasing concerns about margins squeezed by low bidding and excessive competition encouraged by clients.This As a result, profit margins have also fallen by a third in the past year from a marginal 1.97% last time to a seriously miserly 1.29% in the latest figures. These companies are deploying total assets of £36bn and have a combined net worth of £9.2bn, so they have a rate of return of just 2.17% on assets and only 8.62% on capital employed. Given that these are supposedly the most efficient operators in the sector, with the greatest bargaining power on bidding prices and input costs, there must be some serious doubts about the validity of the UK construction industry business model, most especially for those further down the food chain.

The best profit margins are enjoyed by a top five of Stepnell (10.7%), Dawnus (9.7%), Bechtel (9.1%), Amey (7.9%) and Interserve (7.7%). The pressure on profitability is confirmed by the fact that only 35 of the companies have improved their margins, while 64 have seen them worsen. If this trend continues into 2014, there are bound to be further casualties as lenders and other creditors look more closely at their ongoing commitment to such a marginal sector. And there will be more consolidation, though this is more likely to be as the more secure large players pick off smaller competitors than through mergers between major contractors. Read more.

Rank by turnover Rank by profit Company Latest turnover (£m) Previous turnover (£m) Latest pre-tax profit (£m) Previous pre-tax profit (£m) Latest margin (%) Previous margin (%) 2012 Rank by turnover 2012 Rank by profit
1 5 Balfour Beatty 10,896 11,035 75 246 0.7 2.2 1 1
2 2 Carillion  4,402.80 5,051.20 179.5 142.8 4.1 2.8 2 2
3 4 Kier Group (Inc. May Gurney) 2,725.80 2,694.40 82.3 91.3 3 3.4 3 4
4 1 Interserve 2,369.60 2,319.60 182.9 67.1 7.7 2.9 4 6
5 7 Mitie 2,120.50 2,002.50 58.8 94.5 2.8 4.7 5 3
6 10 Morgan Sindall 2,047.10 2,226.60 34.2 40 1.7 1.8 6 11
7 11 BAM Construction/Nuttall 1,647.30 1,754.60 32 25.6 1.9 1.5 7 16
8 13 Laing O’Rourke 1,622.40 1,746.30 27.4 28.6 1.7 1.6 8 15
9 6 Galliford Try  1,504.10 1,284.20 63.1 41.7 4.2 3.3 9 9
10 8 Keller 1,317.50 1,154.30 43.5 21.9 3.3 1.9 11 20
11 59 ISG 1,281.50 1,195.60 3 9 0.2 0.8 10 32
12 16 Wates 1,193.60 1,033.90 25.7 40.1 2.2 3.9 18 10
13 3 Amey UK 1,146 1,093.60 90 84.3 7.9 7.7 14 5
14 98 Enterprise 1,125.40 1,086.90 -44.6 -135.2 -4 -12.4 15 100
15 26 Vinci UK 1,106.70 1,112.70 15.3 19.8 1.4 1.8 13 24
16 9 Skanska 1,092.30 1,117 43.4 44.9 4 4 12 7
17 30 Willmott Dixon  1,034 1,052.10 8.9 12.9 0.9 1.2 16 27
18 20 Bouygues & Subsidiaries 1,017.80 1,037.80 20.9 37.2 2.1 3.6 17 12
19 18 Mace 950.5 874.3 22.8 20.5 2.4 2.3 20 22
20 15 Costain 934.5 986.3 26.1 23.9 2.8 2.4 19 17
21 22 Sir Robert McAlpine  769.3 845.4 20.5 20.1 2.7 2.4 21 23
22 21 Mears 679.5 589 20.8 20.6 3.1 3.5 26 21
23 100 Lakeside 1 (Keepmoat) 676.1 677.1 -472.6 -86 -69.9 -12.7 23 98
24 19 Bowmer & Kirkland  674.9 707.5 21.5 44.6 3.2 6.3 22 8
25 12 Shepherd 671.6 611 27.6 31.5 4.1 5.2 24 13
26 28 VolkerWessels UK 666.2 557 12.2 -1.5 1.8 -0.3 28 86
27 40 Miller 619.9 587.6 6.6 -92.8 1.1 -15.8 27 99
28 90 Morrison Utility Services  548.3 498.7 -2.2 -5.1 -0.4 -1 29 95
29 23 Lend Lease 545.3 605.1 20.4 13.5 3.7 2.2 25 26
30 24 Imtech 514.6 340.7 18.4 7.4 3.6 2.2 35 39
31 14 J Murphy 495.6 400.8 26.4 23.5 5.3 5.9 32 18
32 37 NG Bailey 458.6 419.2 7.2 -4.2 1.6 -1 31 92
33 17 SSE Contracting 457.9 469.2 25 30.1 5.5 6.4 30 14
34 42 Mclaren 376.4 266.6 6.1 7 1.6 2.6 43 41
35 39 Emcor 339.9 330.2 6.7 6.8 2 2.1 36 44
36 34 Renew Holdings  337.4 356.7 8.4 2.5 2.5 0.7 34 67
37 70 Sisk 293.9 373.6 1.4 -4.5 0.5 -1.2 33 94
38 99 Enserve (Spice) 287.6 300.7 -78.4 -3.1 -27.3 -1 38 89
39 32 Northstone NI 285.6 239 8.6 9.2 3 3.9 46 29
40 44 Seddon  283.2 268.5 5.4 8.8 1.9 3.3 41 34
41 74 Geoffrey Osborne 280.7 287 1 3.5 0.4 1.2 39 58
42 89 Robertson Group  269.3 232 -1 -3.3 -0.4 -1.4 48 91
43 56 Byrne Group 267.5 232.2 3.8 8.8 1.4 3.8 47 33
44 49 John Graham 264.2 216.6 4.7 4 1.8 1.9 51 55
45 97 Spie Matthew Hall 263.8 311.8 -23 -4.4 -8.7 -1.4 37 93
46 96 Severfield-Rowen 256.6 267.8 -21.7 8.3 -8.5 3.1 42 36
47 60 Clancy 250.7 205.3 2.9 2 1.2 1 56 68
48 46 RG Carter 249.2 252.9 5.1 9.1 2.1 3.6 45 31
49 58 Ardmore  240.6 286.1 3.1 -6.3 1.3 -2.2 40 96
50 29 Integral UK  239.7 198.9 9.1 6.4 3.8 3.2 58 46
51 35 Brookfield Multiplex 222.3 199.6 8.3 6.7 3.8 3.4 57 45
52 65 RGCM 214.8 219.3 2.4 2.9 1.1 1.3 50 62
53 38 Lorne Stewart 212.2 162 7.1 7.8 3.3 4.8 70 37
54 57 GSH Group 206 208.8 3.6 6.8 1.7 3.3 55 43
55 75 Longcross 205.9 263.7 0.9 1.2 0.5 0.5 44 74
56 64 Higgins  203 185.5 2.4 3 1.2 1.6 60 61
57 50 Carey Group  198.1 165.6 4.7 7.8 2.4 4.7 69 38
58 47 Malcolm Group 197.2 172 4.9 4.4 2.5 2.5 64 52
59 95 United House 196.9 229.9 -10.9 5.8 -5.5 2.5 49 50
60 61 Teighmore 194.3 210.6 2.8 3.1 1.4 1.5 54 60
61 73 T Clarke 193.8 183.8 1.2 4.9 0.6 2.7 61 51
62 68 Buckingham  182.4 167.4 1.5 4.1 0.8 2.5 67 54
63 52 Eric Wright Group 182.1 148.6 4.5 3.9 2.5 2.6 75 56
64 93 SGN Contracting 180.7 174.2 -5.8 -1 -3.2 -0.6 63 85
65 72 Midas 180.5 211.7 1.2 0.7 0.7 0.3 52 76
66 82 City Building (Glasgow) 178.6 158.9 0.3 22.5 0.2 14.2 71 19
67 25 Dawnus 178 136.6 17.3 12.3 9.7 90 79 28
68 94 William Hare 177.2 182.2 -6.8 1.5 -3.9 0.8 62 73
69 51 McNicholas Construction 176.7 154.6 4.7 0.3 2.7 0.2 73 80
70 81 ESH Holdings 170.2 168.3 0.4 0.5 0.2 0.3 66 78
71 77 North Midland Construction 168.9 167.2 0.7 -0.8 0.4 -0.5 68 84
72 62 Ogilvie Group 168.8 171.8 2.7 2.8 1.6 1.6 65 66
73 69 Barr  164.3 210.9 1.5 -3.1 0.9 -1.5 53 90
74 36 Forth Holdings 163.2 151.9 7.5 7.4 4.6 4.9 74 40
75 27 Bechtel 162.4 143.7 14.8 19.8 98 13.7 76 25
76 87 GB Building Solutions 155.6 130.1 -0.3 0.2 -0.2 0.2 82 81
77 54 Winvic Group  154.1 80.1 4.2 1.8 2.7 2.2 90 72
78 48 Lakehouse Contracts 153.7 106.7 4.8 2.9 3.1 2.7 85 64
79 71 Bullock Construction 151.9 158.7 1.3 3.8 0.9 2.4 72 57
80 55 McLaughlin & Harvey  150.6 197.9 4.2 4.3 2.8 2.2 59 53
81 92 Brett Group 150.5 139.4 -4.8 -2.4 -3.2 -1.7 77 87
82 33 Mulalley 135.2 134 8.5 9.1 6.3 6.8 81 30
83 91 Mabey 129.9 127.7 -2.8 8.6 -2.1 6.8 83 35
84 76 Lagan 127.8 97.2 0.9 0.4 0.7 0.4 87 79
85 83 Headcrown 120.5 134.2 0.1 -9.9 0.1 -7.4 80 97
86 41 Thomas Armstrong  116.2 116.2 6.5 7 5.6 63 84 42
87 86 Tolent 109.8 105 -0.2 -2.8 -0.2 -2.7 86 88
88 88 GF Tomlinson 108.4 137.5 -0.5 1.9 -0.4 1.4 78 70
89 66 Simpson (York) 93.3 73.5 2.2 2 2.3 2.7 94 69
90 53 Pyeroy Group 88.9 73.9 4.4 2.9 5 3.9 93 63
91 78 M.V. Kelly Limited 87.6 78.6 0.7 3.2 0.8 4.1 91 59
92 43 Masterson  87 91.2 6 6.3 6.8 7 88 48
93 67 Trant Holdings  83.8 65.4 1.7 1.9 20 2.9 96 71
94 45 R.J. Mcleod  83.3 65.8 5.1 6.2 6.2 9.5 95 49
95 63 Lindum  83 84.9 2.5 2.8 3 3.3 89 65
96 31 Stepnell  82 76.4 8.8 6.4 10.7 8.4 92 47
97 85 City Building (Contracts) 74.6 57.9 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 97 83
98 84 Speller Metcalfe 71.6 53.3 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.4 99 82
99 80 Base Build  65.3 35.4 0.5 0.6 0.8 1.6 100 77
100 79 Barnes Group 63.7 53.6 0.6 1 1 1.9 98 75
Totals 61,505.80 60,816.40 790.8 1,197.20 1.3 (Average) 2 (Average

 

Strongest Financial Health Ratings

Latest Health Score (MAX 100)
Previous Health Score (MAX 100)
Company
Latest Turnover (£M) Latest Pre-Tax Profit (£M) Latest Margin  Net Worth (£M)
93
88
Stepnell
82 8.8 10.70% 37
91
89
Thomas Armstrong
116.2 6.5 5.60% 92
85
85
SSE Contracting
457.9 25 5.50% 95
82
86
J Murphy
495.6 26.4 5.30% 187
82
77
Mulalley
135.2 8.5 6.30% 53
79
82
Bechtel
162.4 14.8 9.10% 54
79
84
R.J. Mcleod
83.3 5.1 6.10% 28
77
80
Shepherd
671.6 27.6 4.10% 231
75
81
Seddon
283.2 5.4 1.90% 93
75
68
Dawnus
178 17.3 9.70% 25

 

Weakest Financial Health Ratings

Latest Health Score (Max 100)
Previous Health Score (Max 100) 
Company 
Latest Turnover (£M) Latest Pre-Tax Profit (£M) Latest Margin  NET Worth (£M)
17
14
Enterprise
1,125.40 -44.6 -4% 91
16
14
Galliford Try
1,504.10 63.1 4.20% 478
15
10
Renew Holdings
337.4 8.4 2.50% 9
15
39
Spie Matthew Hall
263.8 -23 -8.70% 80
14
54
City Building (Glasgow)
178.6 0.3 0.20% -53
12
53
Severfield-Rowen
196.9 -10.9 -5.50% 107
11
22
United House
256.6 -21.7 -8.50% 107
7
32
Enserve (Spice)
287.6 -78.4 -27.30% 34
5
10
SGN Contracting
180.7 -5.8 -3.20% 3
2
5
Lakeside 1 (Keepmoat)
676.1 -472.6 -69.90% -319


Key:
up Up from 2012
up Down from 2012
up No change from 2012