Contractor wins £178m of work in June, ending Balfour Beatty’s three-month run in first place

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Balfour Beatty’s three-month run at the top of Building’s league table was abruptly terminated last month as the UK’s biggest contractor plunged to 11th place with less than £50m worth of new contracts in June.

Balfour fared no better when civil engineering work was factored in, adding only £5.5m to its haul, and still languishing outside the top 10.

June’s best performer turned out to be Kier, which garnered a healthy £178m worth of work during June, the bulk of which came from the under-siege public sector.

Kier’s construction division has been busy targeting waste management and energy sector clients, a move that has gone down well in the Square Mile in recent weeks, but its haul for June was boosted by extending an existing building maintenance contract with Sheffield council, with a value of £70m, and a £14.5m contract with East Sussex council to build a new academy and refurbish an existing sports centre.

Laing O’Rourke won only two contracts, but one of these was a £100m-plus deal with Conwy and Denbighshire NHS for the redevelopment of the Glan Clwyd hospital.

Elsewhere, a raft of £15m-£30m education contracts kept contractors’ regional divisions across the Midlands and North of England busy. And with more than £700m worth of work being awarded by the public sector in June, almost two-thirds of the total, government largesse looks set to remain the only game in town for contractors.

Across the industry, contractors’ workload fell during June, coming in at £1.1bn against May’s £1.3bn, a fall that may account for the general mood of pessimism that has descended over the industry in the last month and replaced the relative optimism of the early part of the last quarter.