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Global Powers of Construction 2021

Explore the key strategies, drivers, and current economic situation of the construction industry globally

Despite the impact of the pandemic and the shift in global investment priorities, the construction industry experienced steady growth in 2021 across all regions. While construction was considered an essential activity in most countries in 2021, the global growth is projected to decelerate from 6.1% in 2021 to 3.6% in 2022 and 2023. Evidently, the industry is demonstrating resilience, but it must address the challenges posed by supply shortages, rising prices, and global shifts towards sustainable infrastructure—as these factors will have a profound effect on its future growth.

While the economic prospects of the industry slowed down because of the rebounds in COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the outlook for the global construction industry remains positive. The aggregate size of the construction market was valued at US$7.28 trillion in 2021 and is predicted to reach US$14.41 trillion by 2030. In the coming years, the industry will be driven by some main growth drivers including population growth in emerging countries, ageing populations in developed countries, greater urbanisation and concentration in megacities, decarbonisation across economies and digital transformation.

The Global Powers of Construction 2021 (GPoC) report ranks the top 100 global construction companies based on sales, and the top 30 companies based on market capitalisation. In line with previous years, the report analyses the current macroeconomic outlook of the construction sector and expectations for coming years in the global construction industry. It analyses the key financial indicators of the leading players—performance in terms of revenue, market capitalisation, international presence, diversification, profitability, indebtedness and other financial ratios. It also includes a section analysing numerous trends that have been shaping construction over the last few years and are expected to have a great impact in the near future, taking into account the new post-pandemic priorities.

Key findings:

  • In 2021, the total revenue of the Top 100 GPoC increased by 14.1% to US$1,819 trillion, while the market capitalisation rose by 13.3% to US$662,460 million.
  • Europe has the largest presence by number of companies, with 40 groups included in the Top 100 ranking, followed by Japan and US with 14 companies each.
  • 55% of revenue originated from companies based in China, with the remaining revenue coming from Europe, Japan, US, and South Korea.
  • The financial performance of the Top 30 GPoC varied according to the nationality and activities developed by the entities. Aggregate market capitalisation grew by 10.8%, net income increased by 21%, and revenues increased by 16%.
  • For the Top 30 GPoC companies, revenue obtained from international sales dropped to 15%, down from 17% in 2020 and 19% in 2019.
  • 25% of total revenues reported by the GPoC were obtained from non-construction activities. European companies were the most diversified (~32% of total sales) while non-construction activities represent about 24% of total sales for US and Asian companies.
  • Internationalisation and diversification have balanced risks, which is critical given the instability surrounding the macroeconomic scenario.

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