World's construction contractors: revenue outside of home country 2018

ACS was ranked as the leading international contractor based on revenue in 2018, generating approximately 38 billion U.S. dollars from outside of its home country. German contractor Hochtief and Beijing-based China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) were ranked second and third respectively, meaning the top three firms maintained their positions from the previous year.

Are positive figures papering over the cracks?

The construction contractor market generated international revenue of around 487 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, increasing by around 5 billion U.S. dollars in comparison to the previous year – international revenue figures had steadily been falling until the market showed signs of recovery in 2017. However, despite recent upturns, the market continues to face problems. Carillion, a construction firm from the United Kingdom that regularly generated revenue figures exceeding one billion British pounds from its services, collapsed under the weight of debts in early 2018. The collapse can be attributed to a number of factors, one of which being that the firm overstretched itself, taking on too many risky contracts as it attempted to fight off competition.

Spanish firms emerge from construction crisis

Spanish firm ACS – Actividades de Construccion y Servicios – has become a dominant force within the global construction market, expanding its international portfolio with contracts in North America, Latin America, and Asia. In 2018, two of the top 10 leading construction contractors worldwide were from Spain, and together they generated around 50 billion U.S. dollars in international revenue. The success of Spanish firms can be traced back to the early 2000s when the national government chose to heavily invest in the construction sector, providing local contractors with valuable experience. However, the financial crisis of 2007 caused the domestic economy to plummet and threatened companies with bankruptcy. As a result, many Spanish contractors were forced to look elsewhere for business and started to focus their attention on the international market.

Leading construction contractors worldwide in 2018, based on international revenue (in billion U.S. dollars)*

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Including revenue contribution from subsidiaries.

Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Hochtief"

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