World’s biggest construction contractors revealed

By Andy Brown01 August 2022

The latest issue of International Construction magazine has revealed that sales for the world’s 200 biggest contractors has reached a record figure of US$1.968 trillion, the highest figure ever recorded on the table.

The total sales for the contractors on the ICON 200, an exclusive ranking of the world’s 200 biggest contractors by sales, was so high due to growth in almost all major markets in 2021 as countries emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic. The total sales figure on the previous ICON 200 was US$1.746 trillion.

World’s biggest construction contractors

1. China State Construction & Engineering (CSCEC) US$290 billion

2. China Railway Group US$166 billion

3. China Railway Construction Corporation US$157 billion

4. China Communications Construction US$105 billion

5. Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) US$77 billion

6. Vinci US$58 billion

7. Bouygues’ Construction Divisions US$44 billion

8. Shanghai Construction Group US$43 billion

9. ACS US$32 billion

10. D R Horton US$27 billion

Chinese construction industry 

Sales slowed down in China in 2021 compared to 2020, but they were still at a good level, and Chinese-based contractors still benefited from the work around the world put their way through the Belt and Road Initiative. Sales for Chinese contractors increased from US$697 billion to US$866 billion – this equates to 44% of the total amount generated. Chinese contractors may have, once again, driven the growth of the table but it was certainly more evenly spread than in the past.

US-based contractors saw their total sales increase from US$226 billion last year to US$246 billion. Indeed, some of the big moves up on the table were from US contractors that work in the home building sector. While demand for houses is up in most of the world, the sector recorded especially strong growth in the US. Out of the 33 US-based contractors on the list over half saw their positions increase – some significantly.

Japan is an extremely steady market for construction with an increase or decrease of a few percent being a large change and so it is no surprise that Japanese contractors account for almost the same percent as last year, down from 10.6% to 9.4% – still the third largest contribution of any one country, behind China and the US.

See the full list and analysis here.

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