The headline figure for this year's D&Ri100 would suggest that the worst is over for the industry, with the total D&Ri100 turnover for the 2010 financial year seeing an increase for the first time since 2008, climbing as it has by 7% to US$4,353.4 million. But are appearances deceptive.
When we look at the totals for the companies in Europe and North America respectively, a clearer picture emerges. The European companies showed a cumulative total of US$2,633.2million, reversing the downturn of previous year. However, the similar figurs for North American companies shows a fractional increase only, to US$1444.1 million on the comparable figure for the 2010 D&Ri100.
Europe in particular seems to be seeing a more marked improvement in market conditions, with total turnover rising by 10% compared to 2010. In North America, anecdotal evidence that the demolition industry is still at the bottom of a recession is borne out, with very low growth in total turnover of 0.5%. All in all, the industry is a long way off its peak of activity in 2007, with the corresponding D&Ri100 in 2008 standing at a all-time high of US$4,781.5 million.
These figures confirm that the economic conditions in the last year were, for many, as challenging as in the past, and the industry is some way off the peak times of 2007. We can only hope that conditions are beginning to turn around, but the massive debts accumulated by many countries, especially in Europe, and the austerity measures put into place to cope with these debts suggest that conditions may well remain challenging for the foreseeable future,
It should be stressed that the data contained in this table comes from a variety of sources - the companies themselves, financial reporting services and, in a very few cases, informed estimates. We endeavour to ensure that the resulting figures are as accurate as possible, but can accept no responsibility for the content of the table. The troubled economic conditions certainly made our task more challenging - companies are happy to report the good times but are much less willing to share the bad.
With regard to the list itself, it is pretty much as you were for the top 11 companies. There has been a degree of shuffling of the order but the same names are there or there about. Once again, the same statement has to be made in that LVI is still top of the pile, but caution should be taken with this. Once again, we have been unable to separate out this company's demolition activities from its figures. One positive feature of the ranking is that from number 2 to number 7 in the list all report an upturn in their revenues for last year. The biggest mover in the top half of the list is Erith Group, which jumped from 24 in 2010 to 12.
Of note is the 'swings and roundabouts' natuire of this year's listing. Some contractors seem to have fared much better than others, with 46 moving up the ranking, two holding steady and 52 falling down the table.
New entrant AF Decom has come straight in at 15 - some might argue that what this company does is not demolition but is marine decommissioning. D&Ri takes the view that given the amount of offshore oil infrastructure work that will have to be done in coming years in the North Sea, this work is an attractive option for many European demolition companies with experience of industrial decommissioning/demolition and as such is a valid topic for this magazine.
We endeavour to make the D&Ri100 as inclusive as possible but rely heavily on the willingness of contractors to share their numbers with us and the industry at large.