Balfour Beatty tops its sector for a remarkable ninth year on the trot, despite a challenging market. Given a boost by contracts in the Olympic Park, the firm’s reported first-half pre-tax profits rose 2% to £93m on revenues up 6% to £5.5bn. But sales dipped 4% in September, prompting a profit warning. Bedfordshire-based Kier managed to keep a strong order book, despite revenues falling from £2.18bn to £2.07bn because of local government spending cuts. Costain takes third place – it now focuses on 40 or 50 blue-chip clients and major projects include Crossrail and London Bridge Station. Galliford Try rose to fourth on the back of rising sales and record annual profits of £63.1m.