In Building's first rankings of contracts won excluding civils, Carillion beats top dog Balfour by £300m

In the first monthly league of the year, Building has introduced a separate table for contracts won work excluding civil engineering.

It paints an interesting picture because the ever-dominant Balfour Beatty does not reign supreme when it comes to building work.

Instead Carillion comfortably took the top slot for building work, obtaining six contracts with a combined value of £492m, almost twice the value of work won by Galliford Try, its closest rival.

That was no mean feat given that the attention of its board was focused on finalising the terms for a proposed £313m takeover of Mowlem. Not only did it win the battle with Balfour Beatty for Mowlem, after the former officially dropped out of the race last week, it also won more building contracts.

Carillion's biggest contract last month was for a News International printing plant in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, which was worth £160m. The media giant also awarded it two other contracts for printing plants in December, one in Merseyside, worth £45m, and one in Scotland worth £25m.

Overall, it was a pretty even split between the work it won in the private commercial and the private industrial sectors.

Galliford Try, which has just bought Lincolnshire housebuilder Chartdale for £67m, took second place. It won five contracts worth £225m. Most of that work was at its contracting arm, which accounts for about three-quarters of turnover, with the rest at its housing business.

In December most of its work was won in the public non-housing sector, thanks to a £192m Northamptonshire schools contract. It also won £27.5m of work in the housing sector last month.

Kier took third place, winning 34 contracts worth £214m. Balfour Beatty won 102 contracts with a combined value of £188m, most of which was in the public non-housing work sector.

However, when civils work was included, Carillion fell to second place behind Balfour Beatty, which won a total of £528m of work last month, £340m of which was civils. Its biggest win was a £66m Network Rail contract in the South-east.

In the rolling annual league table, which includes civils work, the top four contractors retained their positions. Balfour Beatty dominated with £4.62bn of contracts in the past 12 months, beating Bovis Lend Lease, which won £1.78bn, into second place.

Carillion's bumper month moved it up it four places to fifth in the annual league, with £1.37bn.

Edmund Nuttall had a good December. It won 16 contracts worth £270m last month, which boosted it to third place in the monthly league (including civils) and raised it 11 places in the annual league to 17th with £490m.

The Highways Agency was the country's top client, with £1.62bn of work, compared to National Grid Transco with £1.2bn.

Davis Langdon was the top consultant, with £1.7bn worth of work, and Building Design Partnership topped the architects with £759m.