Top 30 M&E contractors set for growth – ranking

Aaron Morby 2 years ago

The country’s leading M&E contractors have weathered the pandemic suffering an average revenue fall of just 4% among the top 30 specialists.

Most are now looking forward to a return to revenue growth even in the face of unpredictable market conditions around labour and availability of air source heat pumps in particular but also sprinkler pumps and transformers.

The challenging trading environment did see a few casualties over the last 12 months with the collapse of MechFS and Kershaw Mechanical Services, which had been trading since 1954.

Newcomers to the top 30 include: Ark Mechanical & Electrical Services, Haydon M&E and J S Wright.

Major firms are looking toward growth in data centres, logistics hubs, infrastructure and multi-storey housing as well as an awakening of the office market revived by the return to work.

Ranking Building services scontractor Revenue £m
2021 2020 2021 2020
1 1 NG Bailey £507m £573m
2 2 Imtech £355m £425m
3 5 T Clarke £327m £232m
4 4 Enerveo £304m £306m
5 7 Briggs & Forrester £234m £223m
6 3 Crown House £218m £315m
7 14 Vital Energi £196m £137m
8 8 SPIE £193m £191m
9 6 Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil £180m £230m
10 12 SES £159m £146m
11 11 Phoenix £154m £209m
12 9 Gratte Brothers £152m £181m
13 10 Dodd Group £142m £160m
14 13 Michael J Lonsdale £133m £140m
15 NEW Ark Mechanical & Electrical £105m £74m
16 16 Dornan Engineering £99m £91m
17 18 Essex Services Group £86m £85m
18 26 Derry Building Services £77m £60m
19 17 Borough Engineering £72m £86m
20 28 CMB Enginering £71m £57m
21 21 King & Moffatt UK £65m £63.5m
22 29 LJJ £65m £54m
23 27 Cilantro £64m £58m
24 24 HE Simm £62m £62m
25 NEW JCA Engineering £61.5m £52m
26 25 Dowds Group £61m £61m
27 NEW Haydon ME £59m £56m
28 15 Designer Group £57m £104m
29 30 Swiftline Engineering £52m £51m
30 NEW J S Wright £52m £37m

Paul Connolly, Head of M&E Services & Technical Director at Mace Group predicts 2024 will be “the start of a buoyant market in London in particular for M&E contractors as we are currently see early stage works commencing on a number of major schemes and the M&E works will follow over the next 12- 24 months.”

Some of the present market uncertainty is being lessened by clients seeking to engage M&E firms earlier in the procurement process.

Connolly added: “Clients are now seeking early advice by RIBA Stage 2, which gives engineering contractor ample opportunity to influence designs as well as some visibility of long-term workload.”

Terry Hussey, Board Director at Phoenix ME, said: “We have a number of opportunities where we have been involved from Stage 2 as opposed to Stage 4 and this has enabled us to manage client expectations on costs and buildability, but also to help with securing major plant in the future – this is key as we are seeing some equipment on six month lead times as the manufacturers are struggling to make up for Covid lockdowns.”

(The Top 30 is compiled for Construction Enquirer by Gokhan Hassan, Managing Director at Chartered QS practice, GHCS)

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