Kier voted Britain’s most admired contractor

Aaron Morby 10 years ago

Kier has replaced Balfour Beatty as the most admired contractor in the country by business leaders.

The group took the top spot in the heavy construction category for the first time in Britain’s Most Admired League for 2013, organised by Management Today magazine.

But while Britain’s business leaders were impressed by Kier’s efforts the tables were turned on Balfour Beatty, sector leader for the past nine years.

Despite a challenging market, Kier managed to deliver a total order book of £4bn, and pull off the acquisition of road maintenance provider May Gurney in July strengthening its service business.

Kier Group chief executive Paul Sheffield said: “We know that we have great people and that we are doing some excellent work; knowing that this is recognised by our competitors and that we were voted for by our peers makes this achievement even more meaningful.”

Balfour Beatty sank to ninth position in the construction rankings after a torrid year, including two profit warnings within six months. The company’s first-half pre-tax profits fell by 70%.

Costain scored well this year coming in a close second to Kier after major contract wins, followed by Galliford Try in third place, riding on the back of record annual profits, thanks to the revival in the housebuilding sector.

The league table was compiled by asking Britain’s largest public companies in 26 sectors to evaluate their peers.

In total, 247 of Britain’s biggest companies are involved including names such as Rolls Royce, Unilever, Marks & Spencer, Royal Dutch Shell, J Sainsbury and Coca Cola Enterprises.

Britain's most admired companies - contractors

Contractor 2013 ranking 2012 ranking score
Kier 50 41 63.22
Costain 55 61 62.67
Galliford Try 64 117 62.1
Laing O'Rourke 98 154 59.13
Sir Robert McAlpine 103 191 58.69
Carillion 116 120 57.82
Morgan Sindall 121 199 57.7
Balfour Beatty 172 38 54.06
Miller Group 183 173 53.42

But the overall star for construction came from house building with Berkeley Group ranking second among all the country’s major companies behind Diageo.

It also picked up the quality of management award. In second place in the house builder league came Persimmon, which impressed after reporting a 40% rise in first-half pre-tax profits.

Third-placed Crest launched London’s first stock market float of the year. Shares were in strong demand, raising £225m.

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