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Costain, Volker Stevin and Walters UK shine in NCE/CECA Contractors of the Year Awards 2008

Outstanding business performance by civil engineering contractors across the UK has today been recognised in NCE's Contractors File through the NCE/CECA Contractors of the Year Awards.

This year 15 firms were shortlisted across three categories: Major Firm, Medium Firm and Small Firm.

Shortlisted in the Major Firm category, for companies with a civil engineering turnover in excess of £200M, were: Clancy Docwra, Costain, J Murphy & Sons, Galliford Try and Morgan Est.

Shortlisted in the Medium Firm category, for companies with a civil engineering turnover between £50M and £200M, were: Barhale Construction, Buckingham Group, Dyer & Butler, RJ McLeod (Contractors) and Volker Stevin

Shortlisted in the Small Firm category, for companies with a civil engineering turnover of less than £50M, were: Alpha Construction, DCT Civil Engineering, Dew Construction (Oldham), Eric Wright Civil Engineering and Walters UK.

From data submitted for the Contractors File, all 15 firms were able to demonstrate strong year on year growth in civil engineering turnover and profit. They boasted bulging order books and clearly showed that they operate a lean, efficient organisations.

To split them, all 15 were asked to make a further submission, setting out what they believe set them apart from the opposition and what allows them to deliver consistent, sustainable growth. From this we were able to pick this year’s winners.

Without question the stand-out achievement of 2007 was the opening High Speed 1 and the glorious St Pancras International. So it seems only fair that NCE’s Major Contractor of the Year is a firm that played an instrumental role in delivering this “jewel in the crown”.

The refurbishment and extension of St Pancras was undertaken by a Costain joint venture for client London & Continental Railways, as part of the £5.8bn High Speed 1 project that took ten years to complete. At the official opening by HM the Queen in March, specific mention was made of the highly technical and intricate nature of the work undertaken.

But Costain is far, far from being a one-trick pony. Indeed, it believes its biggest challenge in last year was not St Pancras but another infrastructure scheme a few miles north on the M25.

“Successfully achieving time-critical and ambitious developments around the M25 for the Highways Agency were our biggest challenges,” says Costain Group strategy & business development director Stephen Wells.

In the Medium category the award goes to Volker Stevin for a good year that saw civils turnover rise from £49M to £68M, profits from £800,000 to £1.3M and work on the high profile Prescott Channel in East London progress well.

And finally, in the notoriously tough world of the small contractor, Walters UK’s results were nothing short of staggering. With a civils profit of £2.5M on a turnover of £35M its margin of 7% is extraordinary and well worthy of scoring the NCE/CECA Small Contractor of the Year Award.

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