Business barometer: Dutch firm beats Vinci to first place as total volume of work falls 23% on 2008

For the second March running, BAM Construct has topped the leader board for contract wins.

Last year, under its former name HBG, the Dutch-owned contractor won 12 jobs worth £254m. This time round it bagged six worth £209m – an 18% drop.

It won a hat-trick of hospital schemes, including the £150m Royal Hospital for Sick Children for NHS Lothian, a £24m deal for the Freeman hospital in Newcastle and a £20m job for the Chelsea and Westminster hospital.

The combined value of the schemes won by the top 30 contractors was £1.46bn, or 23% less than the same month in 2008. It’s a slightly worrying statistic when you consider that the downturn had already started to bite by March last year. This year’s figure is down by a third on the same month in 2007.

The figures also show the increased importance of infrastructure work. In 2007 the value of work won that included civils (see table second right) was 30% greater than that excluding civils. In 2008 the figure was 70% higher and in March this year, it was almost 200% greater. Including civils work, the top five firms won £2.2bn in March compared with £738m when civils were excluded.

In second place was another newly branded company, Vinci Construction, which includes Norwest Holst and Taylor Woodrow. It picked up 11 deals worth a total of £195.5m, including a £158m win at London King’s Cross.

It will no doubt please boss John Stanion who aims to do more in the transport arena. Its other big win was a £31.3m job at Baker Street tube station.

Balfour Beatty finished in third place although it still dominates the annual rolling leader board. Its wins in March included large infrastructure deals such as a £172m Highways Agency job in Sussex and a £127m road scheme for Norfolk council.

Morgan Sindall came fourth and won a £500m sewage treatment works job for Severn Trent Water.