Watch how hierarchy of European construction companies has changed in a decade

By Neil Gerrard12 April 2023

Vinci has stayed top of the pile among European construction companies for over a decade, as new analysis of the top 20 in the region shows.

The animated graph is based on data taken from the International Construction Top 200 list and the Construction Europe 100 between 2013 and 2022.

It shows a relatively stable picture when it comes to the hierarchy of European construction companies, at least as far as their revenue relative to each other is concerned.

For most of the past decade, French companies Vinci and Bouygues, Spanish firm ACS, German giant Hochtief have occupied the top four slots in the CE100 league table.

French company Eiffage currently sits fifth. However, Austrian company Strabag dislodged Skanska from sixth spot in 2021.

Strabag has remained strong in its core markets of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic but has also been growing its output volume in the UK in recent years.

The business reported revenue of €17.7 billion (US$19.3 billion) in its preliminary results for 2022, up more than €2 billion from the €15.2 billion (US$15.2 billion) it generated in 2021. Its order backlog as of the end of its 2022 financial year was €23.7 billion (US$25.8 billion), a 6% increase on the year before.

Strabag is currently working on the main work civils contract packages for the HS2 high-speed rail link in the UK. It is part of a consortium with Swedish contractor Skanska and UK civils firm Costain (SCS JV).

The 2022 edition of the CE100 league table also saw Bouygues leapfrog ACS to become the second largest contractor in Europe.

Name changes, mergers and collapses

Meanwhile, the order has shuffled as some companies merged or changed name. Italian firm Salini Impregilo rebranded as Webuild in 2020, before acquiring a 65% shareholding in Italian multinational construction company Astaldi, which propelled it back into the top 20 in 2021.

The company has since completed the acquisition of assets of Australian construction company Clough in February 2023. It had previously attempted to buy Clough from South African parent company Murray & Roberts in 2022 but the deal fell through and Murray & Roberts placed the company into voluntary administration.

Other names that appeared briefly on the list of the top 20 companies, such as UK-based Carillion, have since disappeared completely. Carillion collapsed suddenly in 2018 under £1.3 billion (US$1.6 billion) of debt.

Watch out for International Construction’s updated Top 200 list for 2023, due to appear in the July-August 2023 issue of the magazine.

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