Britain’s Most Admired… Construction (heavy)

Balfour Beatty’s very strong cash performance and bulging order books help to explain why the embarrassing and expensive collapse of MetroNet – in which it had a 20% stake – hasn’t stopped Balfour Beatty taking the top spot in its sector again this year.

1. Balfour Beatty – 63.0
2. Kier Group – 61.5
3. Carillion – 61.3
4. ROK Property Solutions – 58.7
5. Morgan Sindall – 58.6

But chief exec Ian Tyler expects tougher times ahead if the credit squeeze continues. A new accommodation block at Tony Blair’s alma mater, Fettes College in Edinburgh, was among Kier’s more prestigious contracts this year. The group posted an £18m rise in interim profits in June. If Carillion’s proposed £600m takeover of Alfred McAlpine goes through, it will create the UK’s second-largest contracting business. A near doubling in interim profits to £11.2m helped ROK climb two places this year. Orders of over £4bn took Morgan Sindall to fifth place.

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