Private commercial deals help contractor knock Balfour Beatty from the top of the monthly league in January

Sir Robert McAlpine made a good start to the new year by securing almost £300m of work in January. The company won a total of six projects last month which catapulted it to the top slot of the monthly contractors' league.

It also headed the annual league, which includes civils work, and the monthly league that is focused solely on building work. Its dominance was based on high-value contracts in the private commercial sector.

The biggest job was a £166m London office project for developer Land Securities, followed by an £53m office contract for Waterfront Limited Partnership, also in London.

Sir Robert McAlpine's success in the commercial sector was enough to put it in first place in the monthly all-inclusive league as well, even though it won only £3.7m of civils work. This contrasted with the performance of Swedish contractor Skanska, which won £43m of civils work in January but none in other sectors.

Balfour Beatty, which usually tops the monthly league, including civils work, dropped four places to fifth in January, with projects worth a total of £84m (compared with £528m in December 2005), most of them for public sector clients. This was the contractor's second lowest monthly haul in the past 12 months.

Balfour Beatty still reigned supreme at the top of the rolling annual league however, with a total of 1047 contracts worth £4.1bn under its belt.

Sir Robert McAlpine's performance in January pushed it up eight places in the annual league to 11th, with £774m of contract wins.

Sir Robert McAlpine's closest competitor was Miller Group. It took second slot by winning 10 contracts worth a total of £161m, the biggest of which were in the Scottish public sector. It won a £63m PPP schools project in Dunfermline and a £30m student accommodation contract in Edinburgh on behalf of Sanctuary Housing Association.

Miller, which did not appear in the monthly league last December, should be in a stronger position this year after its £264m acquisition of Fairclough Homes in September. This should almost double volumes achieved at the enlarged Miller Homes.

Miller was just outside the top 30 contractors in the annual league, up 15 places to 32 with £239m of work.

Smaller contractors Mowlem and Thomas Vale did well in the in the building work league, securing places in the top 30.

The top four contractors - Balfour Beatty, Bovis Lend Lease, Kier and Costain - all retained their place in the rolling annual league in January. Within the top 30, May Gurney dropped the highest number of places, falling from 13th to 25th spot.

Among the quantity surveyors, Gardiner & Theobald had a good month and moved up four places to second in the annual rolling league with 53 contracts worth £600m.

Davis Langdon retained the top spot with almost £1.3bn of work.

This information is compiled for Building by ABI Building Data. Call 0151-353 3500, email or see

ABI’s figures include UK contracts with a value of £100,000 or above, and all work awarded by negotiation or competitive tender, including residential and civils work, unless stated otherwise.