The world's top 20 contractors 2014 - 20 to 10

The world's top 20 contractors 2014 - 20 to 10

A new ranking of the World's top 20 contractors has been published by UK-based magazine International Construction, which has reported that for the first time one construction company has achieved the feat of generating more than $100bn of revenues within 12 months.

The ongoing construction boom in China means contractors from the company dominate the list, with five of the ten biggest firms on the list coming from the country.

The top 20 also includes three Japanese firms, three from France and two from the US.

To find out who finished where, read on.

20. Obayashi
Country: Japan
Revenues: $16.5bn.

Japanese contractor is perhaps best known in the region for its work on the Dubai Metro, which is also building phase three of the Downtown Doha project in Qatar alongside local firm HBK Contracting.

The company fell by two places in this year's ranking, despite increasing revenues by 11.4% last year. Domestic building work made up for around 55% of its total revenues, with domestic civil engineering providing a further 20%.

19. Strabag
Country: Austria
Revenues: $16.6bn

Austrian contractor which moved up four places in the list to 19th. The company, which counts bridge construction, tunnelling, harbours and dams among its specialities, is a well-known name in the Gulf - thanks largely to its work in Oman.

The company, which has worked on projects across Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, employs around than 73,000 people. Around 9% of these are in the Middle East, making the region its largest market in terms of employee numbers outside of Germany and Austria.

18. Doosan Heavy Industries
Country: South Korea
Revenues: $17.9bn

The only one of the South Korean contracting giants to make the top 20, Doosan, like many of its compatriots, is very active in the Middle East - particularly so in Saudi Arabia where it has built many large-scale power and desalination plants.

Last year, the company even opened a new research & development centre in Dammam to develop new desalination technologies for use across the region.

The company is part of a conglomerate which had interests in a huge range of businesses, but in recent years has developed more of a focus on serving the infrastructure market - both through contracting and a machinery business which has its own heavy equipment range as well as owning the lightweight Bobcat range.

It also owns the UK-based engineering consultancy Babcock.

17. Sekisui House
Country: Japan
Revenues: $18.5bn

Sekisui House is one of Japan's biggeest housebuilders. It was originally part of the Sekisui Chemicals Company, but was spun off as an independent business in 1960 and by the end of January 2014 it had built almost 2.2bn homes.

The Osaka-based company is a developer as well as a builder, and also offers mortgages and other financial products. Alongside this, it has arms involved in facilities management, care homes, and an arm that will buy furniture and electricals goods to fit out homes.

The firm is also building houses in China, America, Russia and Australia.

Sekisui House also has interests in the fuel cells business and recently signed a deal with Toshiba and Honda Motors which will see the three collaborate on the development of a car powered by hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

16. Eiffage
Country: France
Revenues: $19bn

French contractor which has spread its operations across most of Europe, but not beyond. The company operates in 13 markets including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Past projects have included a series of major road projects including the A65 Motorway linking the city of Pau to the regional capital, Bordeaux, and a high-speed rail link over the French-Spanish border between Perpignan and Figueras. The 44.4km line included an 8.3km-long tunnel.

5. Sinohydro
Country: China
Revenues: $20.1bn

The first of five Chinese companies in the top 20, Sinohydro has global revenues of over $20bn.

The company was started in the 1950s as a state-owned company specialising in hydroelectric power plants. It now makes around over $5bn of the $20.1bn in revenues earned each year from overseas projects - and almost half of this comes from Africa.

It is also active in the Middle East, where it has been involved with construction works at the Lusail development, at Sidra Village and at the Hamad International Airport where it built the runway capable of handling new Airbus A380s. It has also been involved with installing a new wastewater treatment network in Oman and a pair of hotel towers in Abu Dhabi.

14. Skanska
Country: Sweden
Revenues: $20.9bn

Skanska Group is a major player both in the Americas and throughout Europe, but has not moved into the Middle East market.

The company, which has been run by Johan Karlstron since 2008, employs 57,000 people around the world. It is something of a public-private partnerships (PPP) specialist, but still earns the bulk (89%) of its revenues from core construction activities.

13. Leighton Holdings
Country: Australia
Revenues: $21.7bn

Australian contractor which has quite a strong regional presence through its 45% share of the Habtoor Leighton contracting business.

The company, which has recently been the subject of a $1.25bn takeover bid by its biggest shareholder - German contractor Hochtief, which itself is largely owned by Spanish firm ACS - has not had the easiest of rides in the region. It bought a bought a 45% share in HLG for $793.3mn (A$870mn) in 2007.

Since then, it has written down the value of its investment by $325mn (A$357mn) and has extended loans and letters of credit as HLG struggled during the financial crisis.

A presentation accompanying Leighton Holdings' filed accounts for 2013 state that its total exposure to HLG now stands at $1.26bn (A$1.4bn), which is a $270mn ($A300mn) increase on 2012, due to foreign exchange movements and extended guarantees.

However, its position has stabilised in recent years and the division broke even last year, declaring an operating profit of $900,000.

This year, the company has also continued with a string of recent project wins, including a $1.7bn joint venture road project in Qatar with Al Jaber Engineering, a $395mn contract to build the next phase of Dubai's Jewel of the Creek project and a $78mn deal to build a new hotel in Oman's Saraya Bandar Jissah complex.

12. Fluor
Country: US
Revenues: $27.4bn

Texas-based EPC specialist which says that it designs and builds the world's toughest projects.

The company employs around 40,000 people worldwide and is active in the Middle East. The firm ranks at 110 in the Annual Fortune 500 list and operates in 25 countries worldwide.

The firm is a strong player in the Middle East and has picked up a series of major contracts within the past 18 months, including a project management deal to manage the $5bn Sharq Crossing in Qatar, a $410mn deal with Kuwait Oil Company to provide consultancy services under a five-year deal and, most recently, a contract from Dow for a new factory manufacturing reverse osmosis products in Saudi Arabia's Eastern province, which was awarded last month.

11. Daiwa House
Country: Japan
Revenues: $27.7bn

Housing and construction group which reported improved earnings in 2013 on the basis of having a better handle on its overheads as well as increasing revenues from rental homes and from the provision of more logistics and office space.

The company now has 43 overseas bases across the globe - a number which substantially increased last year after its deal to buy the Fujita Group finally gained approval. Fujita, which has architecture, construction, land management and facilities management arms, has an office in Dubai.

It makes the bulk (29.3%) of its revenues from rental income on properties, followed by 17.4% on building new houses and 16.9% on building offices and commercial premises.


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