Chinese contractors topped International Construction’s 2012 ranking of the world’s 200-largest construction companies for the second year running and once again took the largest share of total revenue.
Contractors from China took 23.2%, or $344-billion, of the $1.148-trillion revenue for the top 200 contractors, followed by Japanese contractors at 14.2%, or $211-billion, and US contractors at 12.1%, or $179-billion of total revenue.
Almost a quarter of the companies in the top 200 were from the developing world. This was a record number, and their total revenues of $460-billion, or 31% of the total, was also a record in terms of the absolute amount and the share of the top 200.
Total revenues for the top 200 contractors increased by 13% from the previous year. However, profitability, as measured by the average operating margin of the group of companies, was down on the previous year by 0.1 percentage points to 4.6%.
Total employment among the top 200 was estimated at 4.75-million people – a 4.6% increase on the previous year’s figure of 4.54-million employees.
“The slowdown in Chinese construction activity has clearly had an impact on this year’s rankings, but there was still growth for many of the country’s largest contractors last year. At the same time, we have seen improvements for global contractors focused on key areas such as energy and resources, and we have also seen a surge for companies in key emerging markets – most notably Brazil, and to a lesser extent, India,” report author Chris Sleight commented.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation overtook the country’s two largest railway contractors – China Railway Construction Corporation and China Railway Group – to claim the top spot in the top 200 ranking.
Two other Chinese contractors, China Communications Construction Group and China Metallurgical Group, were also ranked in the top 10. They were joined by Vinci, ACS, Bouygues and Hochtief from Europe, while Bechtel was the only US contractor in the top 10. The highest-placed Japanese construction company was Daiwa House at number 12.
Among the biggest climbers in the rankings were three companies involved in the petrochemicals and oil and gas construction sectors, including JGC and Petrofac. Heavy fallers included US residential construction companies D R Horton and PulteGroup, as well as Spanish contractors Sacyr and Ferrovial.