Vinci heads league with sales of £16bn – but no UK firms appear in the top 10

Four French companies – and no British ones – make an appearance in the top 10 of the league table of European contractors.

Vinci came first in Deloitte’s European Powers of Construction table with a construction revenue of €22.3bn (£16bn). Bouygues, its great domestic rival, claimed the second slot with revenue of €18.9bn (£13.6bn).

The highest ranked British company was Balfour Beatty, which came in at number 12 with revenues of £4.6bn.

Taylor Wimpey would have made it to seventh position if the merger of Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey had occurred after the table’s December 2006 cut-off date. As it is, Taylor Woodrow was ranked at 14 and George Wimpey made it to 16.

Despite failing to break into the top 10, 33 British firms appeared in the top 100. This was the largest national contingent, even though it was three fewer than last year.

Britain’s strong presence in the top 100 failed to translate into a corresponding dominance of the European market. The revenue of UK companies represented only 22% of the total sales in the top 100, whereas French firms in the top 10 accounted for 25% of them.

The report attributed the difference to the more fragmented UK market and the sheer size of Vinci and Bouygues.

MJ Gleeson and Jarvis, two British contractors that have recently endured financial problems, fell out of the top 100. Westbury Homes was also missing, as it was taken over by Persimmon.

Hochtief and Bilfinger Berger of Germany maintained their position in the top 10, and French oil services group Technip joined it for the first time.

Of the top 100 companies, 83% reported growth with Spanish contractor Ferrovial, which owns a number of UK airports, including Heathrow, posting a revenue increase of €4bn (£2.9bn).