Growing industry

24 April 2008

Total sales for the CE-100 companies came to € 296 billion last year, a +12% increase on the aggregate of € 264 billion in the 2005 edition. This was the sharpest growth seen since 2001.

Some of the companies within the CE-100 have significant operations outside the region, and there is inevitably some ‘double counting' in the table, but in crude terms this total equates to about a 24% share of Europe's € 1250 billion construction sector.

According to the main forecasting bodies, construction output in Europe grew between +0,8% (FIEC) and +1,5% (Euroconstruct) last year, so the +12% growth of the CE-100 contractors carries the clear implication that these large companies increased their market share over smaller rivals last year.

The profitability of the CE-100 companies also improved last year, with the average operating margin going up from 5,66% to 5,75%. While this rise is to be welcomed, it is only a very marginal improvement, and is significantly smaller than the gains in profit margin made in 2003 and 2004. Not all companies listed report their operating results, but it is interesting to reflect this margin implies a total profit of € 17 billion for the CE-100.

The average headcount of a CE-100 company was 13999 last year, a +18% change from the figure of 11784 the previous year. Like operating profit, headcount data is not available for all companies in the CE-100, but this average implies that total employment among the CE-100 companies is about 1,4 million people.

FIEC estimates that total employment among Europe's 2,4 million construction companies is 14 million people. Another way of looking at this is that the 100 largest companies (0,004% of the total number of enterprises) provide employment for 10% of the construction industry's workforce.

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