Business barometer … and they also catapult Bowmer & Kirkland into second place

Bovis Lend Lease topped the contractors league for the third month running in May after scoring two big wins on commercial projects in Scotland.

Bovis secured a total of £407m of work during the month, almost three times more than its nearest rival. The contractor’s biggest wins were a £42m scheme for Scottish Widows and a £15m project for Apex Hotels.

Bovis was a beneficiary of the continuing boom in the commercial sector, which accounted for £1.1m of the £1.9m of work it was awarded during the month. Another company boosted by the office boom was Bowmer & Kirkland, the second-placed contractor. It rose 11 places, from 13th last time, after securing £142m of commercial projects, including a Tritax Office development in Motherwell.

The fastest riser over the month was Higgins Group, which was catapulted into 4th place, from 48th last time, thanks to two large housing schemes. The most significant of these was a £110m job for Network Housing Group in Brixton.

Another surprise high-flier was Gleeson Building, the former construction arm of MJ Gleeson. The company, which came in at 11th in the table, secured most of its work in the public sector, including an £18.4m academy project in Lincolnshire.

One contracting giant that did not enjoy such a strong month in the building sector was Laing O’Rourke. The company, which was 2nd in April, fell to 27th after securing only a single project. However, it rose to its former position when the £275m of civils work it won were included.

Bovis Lend Lease remained on top in the civils-included league, despite not winning any work in the sector. Taylor Woodrow rose to 3rd place in this table after scoring a £185m deal for work on the Docklands Light Railway in east London.

Balfour Beatty, which won £111m of work during the month, held on to its top spot on the cumulative league with a total of £3.3bn of work won over the past 12 months. It is currently a cool £1bn ahead of nearest competitor Bovis Lend Lease, which has won £2.3bn over the same period.