The Southeast's Top Contractors
Southeast Construction presents its 10th annual Top Contractors ranking. Unfortunately, there’s hardly cause for celebration.
That’s because this year’s ranking, while certainly showcasing the significant successes of participating firms, also highlights the Southeast’s downward market spiral. The current list reflects two big signs of the depressed market conditions: a significant decline in the cumulative value of revenue and fewer firms participating.
For starters, this year we received data from approximately 163 firms doing business in the four-state region, compared to the roughly 175 contractors that took part in last year’s list. (For this year’s print issue, we are publishing the top 150; an extended list is included at Southeast.Construction.com.)
The fact that fewer firms participated this year is by itself a telling indicator of the down market. However, it’s within the revenue numbers that the real impact is apparent.
Southeast Construction’s Top Contractors ranking of a year ago reported a cumulative revenue total of nearly $31.9 billion, down from the previous year’s record $33.1-billion tally.
The cumulative revenue for the top 150 firms represented on the current list totals just short of $24 billion, or about 24.8% lower than last year’s ranking. In short, declining revenues abound, from the top of the list to the bottom.
About the Ranking Southeast Construction’s annual Top Contractors ranking is a product of our annual online survey of general contractors and construction managers doing business in the four-state region of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Qualifying firms self-report and attest to the value of their revenue earned during the preceding year from projects located in the magazine’s coverage area.
Revenue reported on this year’s ranking is based on calendar-year 2009, unless otherwise noted. An asterisk designates a firm was unable to provide accurate calendar-year data and instead submitted their fiscal 2009 information.
As always, it should be noted that this list reflects only those companies that chose to participate in the magazine’s annual Top Contractors survey.
At the Top Taking the number-one spot again this year–for the fourth year in a row, in fact–is Brasfield & Gorrie of Kennesaw, Ga., with nearly $1.19 billion in 2009 Southeast revenue, down from the more than $1.4 billion it reported a year ago.
The contractor’s repeat first-place finish was a close call, however.
This year, Balfour Beatty’s nearly $200-million increase from a year ago almost garnered it the top spot, with the contractor reporting $1.17 billion.
The Shaw Group of Baton Rouge, La., makes a splash in its first year in our ranking with more than $1 billion in Southeast regional revenue, enough for a third-place finish. Shaw’s numbers are the result of its involvement on some of the largest projects in the four-state region, including the $1.8-billion Cliffside Steam Station Modernization in North Carolina for Charlotte-based Duke Energy.
Turner Construction Co. moves up one spot from last year to rank fourth in the current list, with about $890 million in 2009 regional revenue. Skanska USA falls three spots from last year to fifth place, and about $767.6 million in Southeast revenue.
The next two firms were able to keep their ranking positions from a year ago, despite weaking revenue totals. The $686.8 million that BE&K reported for 2009 kept the Charlotte-based subsidiary of KBR in sixth place, while Archer Western Contractors of Atlanta held steady with its reported revenue of $662.9 million.
Barnhill Contracting of Tarboro, N.C., also saw its revenues take a dip in 2009, but was still able to move up three spots from last year to place eighth in the current ranking. The contractor’s current total of $522.8 million was down from the $587.1 million it reported a year ago.
Clark Construction Group, with its Southeast operations based in Tampa, experienced only a slight decline in 2009. The $501 million in Southeast revenue it reported for this ranking is down by only $7 million compared to a year ago. Consequently, Clark moved up four spots from last year’s list to earn the ninth position.
Rounding out the top 10 was Bovis Lend Lease of Atlanta, which saw its Southeast revenue drop by more than half and total nearly $466.5 million in the current ranking. A year ago, the contractor reported nearly $979.7 million in regional construction revenue.
Editor’s Notes: For the first time, this year’s Top Contractors list includes not only this year’s ranking for each firm, but each company’s position of a year ago.
Also, a sign of the times hit one of the firms included in this year’s Top Contractors ranking, Keene Construction. Officials with the contractor submitted the company’s 2009 revenue information prior to the firm announcing in March that it was closing its operations, based in the Orlando area. Southeast Construction has included that firm in this year’s ranking, with a note indicating the contractor’s ceasing of business operations.