Alan Rindlisbacher
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Foundation Magazine


Engineering News-Record Ranks Utah Construction Companies

May 24, 2011

Engineering News-Record (ENR) publishes annually its list of the Top 400 Contractors in the United States. The rankings are recognized in the commercial construction industry as the standard by which construction companies are rated.

The 2011 Top 400 list, released on May 16, 2011, includes seven Utah-based commercial contractors, led by Layton Construction as the 64th largest commercial contractor in the country and largest in Utah. The list also includes Okland Construction (#78), Jacobsen Construction (#132), Clyde Companies (#202), Big-D (#204), R&O Construction (#243) and Wadsworth Brothers Construction (#399). The rankings are based upon 2010 construction revenues reported by the companies to ENR.

In last year's ENR Top 400 report dated May 17, 2010, ENR senior editor Gary J. Tulacz reported, "For the past year, construction firms have been searching for signs that the recession, which began over two years ago, was abating. Those signs continue to be few and far between. So the largest U.S. contractors now are settling into a waiting game, scrambling to increase their market shares, moving into new markets and taking a good look at how they do business to make sure that, when the market does rebound, they are ready...Of last year's [2009] Top 100, nine contractors saw revenue increases, 88 had lower revenue, and three did not participate in the survey."

Mr. Tulacz's observations this year are not much more optimistic than last year's findings. Tulacz reports, "The recession continues to plague large contractors in the U.S. ENR's Top 400 Contractors list illustrates the downturn's depth and breadth...About two-thirds of this year's Top 400 showed a falloff in revenue in 2010 from 2009...Domestic revenue for the Top 400 fell 11.5% in 2010...Even more dramatic is the Top 400's 23.3% revenue falloff in 2010 from 2008's record high...While most major firms think the market has hit bottom, few see an immediate recovery."

Mirroring the tough current market conditions nationwide, Utah's construction companies continue to slide from record-high revenues in 2008. The cumulative revenues of the top four Utah contractors on ENR's Top 400 list fell from $2.94 billion in 2008 to $1.92 billion in 2010, a 35% decline over the two-year period. It should be noted that portions of revenues of a number of these Utah companies are generated outside the state of Utah, as Utah's construction companies continue to reach into regional and national markets. Local projects such as City Creek Center, the USTAR Molecular Biotechnology building and the Huntsman Cancer Hospital expansion on the University of Utah campus and the NSA Data Center project continue to sustain the local commercial construction industry.

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