A Fittingly Downward Conclusion

A below-par BCLive league table for the month of November could be just the beginning of a prolonged period of uncertainty, according The Builders’ Conference CEO Neil Edwards.

In a year that has been categorised by the deaths of cultural icons and major celebrities and by seismic and isolationist shifts in the political sphere, it seems oddly fitting that 2016 should move towards its conclusion by heaping yet more bad news on an already substantial pile.

While last month we were lauding the award of the first £1 billion contract of the year, the companies vying for supremacy on the BCLive league table were forced to make do with rather more meagre rations in the month of November. And even though nine of the Top 10 each managed to secure accumulated contract awards valued at £100 million or more, November marked a significant downward shift. In October, the monthly total of contract awards came in at £4.4 billion, pretty much in line with the £4.5 to £5.0 billion that had become the established monthly norm over the past year and a half. In November, the total only just crept over the £3.2 billion mark. This compares to the £4.37 billion recorded in the same period last year.

This has further undermined the BCLive rolling year total which – at this time last year – stood at a record-breaking £57 billion. Today, it is down to a lowly £43.8 billion, a massive 23 percent fall in a single year. During the same period, the rolling year number of projects table has slipped by 7.5 percent from 8,487 in 2015 to 7,847 in 2016.

Furthermore, November was the first month of 2016 in which the number of companies making up the BCLive league table slipped below the 300 mark, with just 295 companies winning new work.

Amidst all that gloom, however, several companies took the opportunity to shine, most notably Graham Construction which sailed to the top of the BCLive league table with a three contract monthly haul valued at £162.5 million.

The largest of these was a £150 million order for the construction and refurbishment of a number of civic buildings across Hertfordshire on behalf of the London Borough of Barnet.

Sir Robert McAlpine came in a close second with a combined £184 million haul that was buoyed by a £100 million order from client Nikal for the construction of 1,000 new apartments across five buildings at Birmingham’s Exchange Square.

Third place went to Galliford Try which bagged a nine contract award haul. The most notable of these was for the construction of a new office block for client Brookgate in Cambridge. That contract alone was valued at £80 million, pushing Galliford Try to a combined monthly total of £180.2 million.

Morgan Sindall leapt into the BCLive top four by doing what it does best; picking up a multitude of smaller contract awards but doing so in volume. The company bagged a total of 17 new contract awards during the month to deliver a £167.5 million accumulated monthly total.

The industry now enters the Christmas silly season and a month shortened by festive holidays and slowed by the usual round of office parties. So there is unlikely to be any last minute rally that will allow a gloomy year to end on anything other than a gloomy note.

And sadly, that gloom looks set to stick around like the hangover and expanded waistline that is part and parcel of the Christmas festivities. In 2015, the BCLive league table identified – on average – 850 new tenders each month. In 2016, that average has plummeted to 650. Projecting forward, that threatens to throw up a very tough start to the New Year.

Graham Construction wins November 2016 overall BCLive trophy for construction new orders with 3 new contracts totalling £192.5M on BCLive league table sponsored by Builder’s Profile

Morgan Sindall pick up the BCLive trophy in the £1M to £5M category trophy for new construction orders and Luddon Construction from Scotland win the trophy in the up to £1M category. All trophies are sponsored by Builder’s Profile.

Congratulations to them all.

Quick review of BCLive table for November 2016

  • 295 no companies were detailed as winning new construction orders during November 2016
  • 514 no new construction orders are detailed on BCLive
  • Graham Construction secure overall top spot with £192.5M of new work and will be picking up November 2016 monthly trophy sponsored by Builder’s Profile
  • Morgan Sindall secured the most number of new construction orders in the month with 17no

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