CE-100 2007: Europe's largest contractors

19 March 2008

Europe's two largest contractors – Vinci and Bouygues – have retained their places at the top of this year's CE-100 league table. Below them there have been a few changes, with Skanska slipping down two places to be overtaken by Hochtief and ACS.

There are some new names in the top 10 this year, with Starbag climbing up from no. 21 last year to no. 8 this year thanks to its acquisition of parts of Walter Bau. FCC is also new to the top 10, due in part to the boost from its acquisition of a majority stake in Alpine Mayreder.

These two new additions to the top 10 of course mean two companies have left this elite group. Last year's sixth-placed company was Bovis Lend Lease, which is not included in this year's ranking due its financial results being fully integrated into that of Australian parent Lend Lease, making it impossible to rank under CE's methodology.

Amec, which was ranked at no. 10 last year, has dropped nine places due to its divestment of Spie. With further sales this year, as the company bids to reposition itself in the energy sector, Amec is sure to drop further in next year's CE-100 ranking.

Major Movers

Further down the CE-100, major movers include Implenia, formed from the merger of Switzerland's two largest contractors Zschokke Holding and Batigroup Holding. Similarly, Van Oord has moved up 23 places following its acquisition of Ballast Ham Dredging in 2005. This year's CE-100 is based on 2006 financial results, so this year is the first that the full effect of this merger can be seen in the rankings.

One significant name missing from this year's listing is UK contractor Jarvis, which was ranked no. 54 last year (and no. 39 in the 2005 edition). It has plummeted 49 places in this year's ranking to be placed outside the CE-100 at no. 103. The company has undergone a major restructuring over the last two years, which has seen it seel-0off its loss making businesses to be more profitable, but much smaller.

Next Year

The merger of Taylor Woodrow and Wimpey could create a company large enough to make it into the top 10, although it will probably be the 2009 edition of the CE-100 before the full effects are seen. The same can be said of Morgan Sindall's acquisition of parts of Amec.

By the same argument, the various deals done by Spain's contractors over the last few years – most notably Ferrovial's purchase of BAA – will be more visible next year, as will Balfour Beatty's acquisition of Centex.

Potentially more dramatic, but at the moment a much more remote possibility is the merger between Sacyr and Eiffage. It is interesting to reflect that if Sacyr does succeed in acquiring Eiffage it would make it into the top five of the CE-100 on the basis this year's revenues. At the moment though there is strong French resistence to the deal.


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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
Neil Gerrard Senior Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 7355 092 771 E-mail: [email protected]
Catrin Jones Deputy Editor, Editorial, UK – Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 791 2298 133 E-mail: [email protected]
Eleanor Shefford Brand Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 236 E-mail: [email protected]