The judges felt the firms in this Barbour Index-sponsored category revealed exceptional promise, but the gold medal went a truly 21st-century firm that has embraced Egan principles wholeheartedly
Russell Construction

In the words of the judges: "They do it all and deliver on everything." And Russell certainly does. Operating profit surged 135% last year and turnover went up 85% without a single reportable accident. The vast majority of Russell's projects are partnered and it applies a battery of best practice initiatives to each of them. Its training programmes are second to none for a regional firm; subcontractors and suppliers are selected on a best value basis, and Russell has reduced the amount of carbon dioxide-producing materials it uses. On the Starfield learning and physical disabilities unit project in Holt, Wiltshire, Russell delivered the building in 34 weeks and scored above the industry average on three-quarters of the KPIs measured. The only question for next year is: can Russell be beaten?

Mount Anvil Construction

With a name like Mount Anvil, you'd expect this company to be a solid performer. And it is. Partnering is central to the way it does business: it was managing its supply chain long before Sir John Egan made it fashionable and is working towards a zero-defect, complaints-free culture on all its projects. The firm's sustainability record is also excellent: it is currently introducing eco-friendly measures, such as greywater recycling, on its major projects.

Dyer & Butler

Clients love Dyer & Butler. At almost 95%, its repeat business rate is one other firms can only aspire to, and it includes big names such as the Ministry of Defence, BAA, the Highways Agency, and the Home Office. The reason Dyer & Butler's clients keep going back for more is its commitment to innovation. It saved BAA 26% and 39% in plant and labour costs by developing in-house concrete repair and road marking skills respectively. It's no surprise, then, that BAA awarded it an average KPI score of 96%. A real crowd-pleaser of a firm.

An exceptional company – excellent client scores, minimal accidents and great profit levels and productivity

D Campbell & Co

This Scottish contractor knows the value of training. With 47 formal apprentices on its books, it is one of the largest sources of construction training in the west of Scotland. And it is not just staff that Campbell likes to take a long-term approach to: all its supplier relationships are treated as more than just "one-offs". This approach is obviously doing very well for the firm: turnover has risen more than 61% over the past three years and last year Campbell's operating profit reached the watershed £1m mark.