This table was drawn up in recognition of the large number of contractors carrying out infrastructure maintenance and management in the quest for longer-term income streams and better margins.

The top of the table is dominated by companies better known as big builders. Amec comes top, with a turnover of £850m, followed by Carillion with £556m and Balfour Beatty with £493m. None of the three has yet made the move to a support services listing, unlike three of the four companies directly below them – Jarvis, Tilbury Douglas and Amey. Amey makes the most compelling argument for the shift from contracting to facilities management because it makes by far and away the best margins – a whopping 14.7%.

However, whether the margins are sustainable is unclear. The evidence in rail maintenance is that they are getting tighter. However, the likes of Amey argue that the FM market has a long way to grow because more and more clients are choosing to outsource.