Stable growth of global construction industry

by David Fleschen

According to a report by the auditing and consulting firm Deloitte, the sales volume of the 100 largest construction companies in the world increased again last year and remained uninterrupted until the corona crisis occurred, as in previous years. The "Global Power of Construction" report for the global construction industry, for example, reports a relevant increase in sales of 5 percent for the past 2019 financial year, with the 100 largest construction companies generating total revenues of more than USD 1.462 trillion.

Chinese construction giants alone account for half of this growth: They were able to increase their sales by over 70 billion US dollars and with six companies continue to dominate the top 10 in the industry. In Europe, it is France and Spain in particular that are holding their own on the international stage, while only one German construction company is in the top 100.

"The Chinese dominance in the construction sector seems enormous at first glance. Construction companies from China have been leading the sales ranking for some years now and account for a total of around 44 percent of global industry revenues. But size is not everything: In terms of market capitalization and internationalization, European construction companies are ahead of the pack - especially companies from France, Spain and Great Britain," says Michael Müller, head of the Real Estate division at Deloitte. "We also see that the increase in sales compared to the previous year is mainly due to increasing internationalization and an expansion of the portfolio away from construction activities - for example, through real estate development and services".

Europe leads in market capitalization ahead of China, USA and Japan

With the first four places and a total of six companies in the top 10, China remains the undisputed leader of the sales ranking: first place is occupied by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) with sales of over 200 billion US dollars. Only in 5th place, with sales of over 53 billion, comes a construction company that does not come from China: the French company Vinci. The Metallurgical Corporation of China is again in sixth place, followed by the Spanish construction giant ACS, the French Bouygues and the Japanese Daiwa House Industry. The top 10 are again completed by a name from the Middle Kingdom - the Chinese Shanghai Construction Group.

The top 100 sales overview lists a total of twelve Chinese construction companies, another 15 come from Japan, 13 come from the USA and eleven are based in Great Britain. However, if you look at the list by market capitalization, the picture is different: Here, ten of the TOP 30 places go to European construction companies, which together achieve a market capitalization of 37 percent within the TOP 30, followed by China (18 percent), Japan and the USA (both 16 percent).

Effects of the COVID 19 crisis difficult to predict

How the Corona crisis will affect the further economic success of the industry is not yet clear from the current Deloitte report, because the data was collected mainly in the pre-crisis period. However: "In view of the imponderable further development of the corona crisis with all its consequences, however, it is quite possible that the trend of a corona-related decline in construction activity will continue into next year," says Müller. "On the other hand, it is clear that not least the COVID 19 pandemic will accelerate the increased use of new industrial and digital technologies, and that areas such as artificial intelligence and analytics will be able to exploit their great potential for the construction industry all the more strongly in the coming years.

Source: Deloitte, Photo: Fotolia

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