Business barometer - Olympic stadium contract boosts McAlpine as credit crunch begins to bite

Sir Robert McAlpine leaped 12 places to the top of the leaderboard in May thanks to the £400m deal it signed to build the 80,000-seat Olympic stadium in east London. Work on the overall £496m project started three months ahead of schedule at the end of May.

It also won a £30.5m contract as part of the continuing facelift of the MetroCentre shopping mall in Gateshead. No prizes for guessing which of the two jobs it will be keenest to see go without a hitch.

Overall, there were signs that the credit crunch was starting to affect order books. Only 44 companies sent responses to the survey last month as opposed to the normal number of 55.

Despite the drop, HBG continued to hover around the top of the list in May, inching up from third place to second, largely thanks to a £300m deal with the Bro Morgannwg NHS trust for a hospital in Swansea. Other wins included a £17m hospital deal in Durham.

Kier finished in third spot with 23 contracts worth a total of £195.1m, which was up three places from April. Bovis Lend Lease jumped even higher, from 12th to 4th, with deals that included the £73m 11-storey New Court office scheme in the City of London.

At number five, Balfour Beatty won the most contracts last month, bagging a total of 67 worth a combined £131.6m. Morgan Sindall finished in sixth spot with wins that included a £22.3m housing deal with Telford and Wrekin council.

Bowmer & Kirkland remained at number seven with 12 wins that included a £36m mixed-use development in Barnet, north London. Leadbitter, Durkan and ISG completed the top 10. ISG’s 17 wins were boosted by a £50m fit-out deal for KPMG in Canary Wharf. Who said work in the financial services sector was drying up?

Apart from Sir Robert McAlpine and Bovis Lend Lease swapping places, the rolling top 10 was unchanged and is still dominated by Balfour Beatty, which is now through the £4bn mark.

See tables attached.

This information is compiled for Building by Barbour ABI. Call 0151-3533 500, email or see

Barbour ABI’s figures include UK contracts with a value of £100,000 or above, and all work awarded by negotiation or competitive tender, including residential and civils work, unless stated otherwise.