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China's Construction Industry Continues To Grow

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China’s highest-earning construction firms continue to expand, according to the 2011 ENR/Construction Times Top 60 Chinese Contractors and Top 60 Chinese Design Firms lists. The lists rank China-based companies according to their domestic and international revenue from 2010. They are compiled by Construction Times, a Shanghai-based industry newspaper, using an ENR-designed survey.

The report shows that the revenue of the Top 60 Contractors reached $405.27 billion in 2010, an increase of 29.5% over 2009. This figure represents 28.2% of the $1,438.16-billion total income of all China-based contractors. The revenue of the Top 60 Design Firms reached $13.29 billion in 2010, an increase of 9%. The growth rate for contractors compared well to the sector's 27.6% growth rate from 2008 to 2009, while the growth rate for design firms was not as strong as the sector's 22.6% increase recorded in last year’s report. Neither was as robust as the 31.5% annual growth rate of China’s top 500 companies.

The majority of the growth for the top firms came from domestic projects. Construction Times claims that the increase in revenue is closely connected to the construction of high-speed, intercity and metro rail systems; projects developed for Expo 2010 Shanghai and the Asian Games in Guangzhou; and post-earthquake reconstruction in Sichuan Province. The rate of overseas income of the top firms slumped to -1.2% in 2010 from 29.5% in 2009, which demonstrates the uncertainty and fluctuation of the international engineering market, according to Construction Times.

It is evident from the data that, for both contractors and design firms, enterprises owned by the central government maintain the dominant positions in the industry. The top three contractors and top three design firms on the list are enterprises of the central government, as are seven of the top 10 contractors and 50 of the top 60 design firms.

The contractors ranked in the top three in the 2010 report reappeared on the 2011 list. China Railway Group Ltd. led the group with $71.66 billion; China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd. brought in $71.02 billion, and China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd. brought in $48.89 billion. Total revenue from these three was $191.57 billion, up $54.31 billion from $137.26 billion as recorded in last year’s report.

Two of the top three China-based design firms in last year’s list remained in the top three this year: Hydrochina Corp. had revenue of $1.31 billion and China Chengda Engineering Co. Ltd. had $987.1 million. China Power Engineering Consulting Group Co. moved up a spot this year to finish off the top three, with $890.1 million.

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