Business barometer — Contractor picks up 33 small jobs while Balfour wins £331m hospital

Kier stormed to the top of the contractors’ league in June thanks to a cluster of smaller contract wins that amounted to almost £300m of work.

Kier, which traditionally performs strongest on this size of scheme, picked up 33 wins in total. It emerged with £70m more work than closest rival HBG, which was in second place with £230m.

Kier’s success was predominantly in the public sector, where it secured £190m of work. HBG also benefited from public spending: £156m of its work came from that sector, including a £125m PPP schools win in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland.

This contract, which was won with its Dutch parent BAM, was the biggest single contract awarded in the building sector in June.

Overall, the public sector provided the industry with £694m of work during the month, offsetting a slowdown in commercial activity (see “Commercial growth stutters”, right). However, the total work awarded to the industry fell slightly, to £1.8bn from £1.9bn the previous month.

One contractor that performed strongly without too much help from the public sector was fourth-placed Rok. The company secured £41m of its £76m of work in the housing sector, including a £35m win for Merlin Housing Society in south Gloucester.

Housing wins also propelled Inspace, Willmott Dixon’s demerged housing arm, into the top 50 for the month, thanks to six wins totalling £43m.

When civils work is taken into account, Balfour Beatty takes first place. The contractor captured £580m of work, thanks largely to a £331m contract on the Pinderfields and Pontefract Hospitals scheme in Yorkshire.

The win was enough to keep Balfour Beatty firmly on top of the cumulative league, with £3.2m of work over the past 12 months.

The second-placed contractor in the cumulative league, Bovis Lend Lease, retained its position despite suffering a reversal of fortune in June. After leading the monthly table in May, Bovis dropped to 42nd with a solitary contract win worth £2.9m.