d&ri100: The biggest demolition contractors in the world
03 January 2024
A significant rise in the value of the d&ri100 compared to a year ago prompts a number of demolition contractors to capitalise on the sector’s recent growth by investing.
The 2023 d&ri100 paints an optimistic picture of the future.
Total turnover for the demolition sector was up by just shy of a billion dollars, increasing by US$911 million on last year’s total of US$6,816 million, to US$7,7127 million.
This significant increase speaks to the rise in demolition works being carried out around the world, as a result of the increased infrastructure spending following the economic downturn of 2021 and 2022.
However, it further shows that the industry has a depth of financial and operational flexibility that few other sectors possess.
European demolition market
Of the companies that made it onto this year’s top 100, half of them were European. Collectively they accounted for US$3,842 million of the total turnover and while most of the 49 representative companies showed an increase in turnover, 10 experienced a decrease, and one has since gone into administration.
Although this is sad news indeed, given the challenges the world has faced over the past few years, the numbers once again serve to demonstrate the robustness of the sector.
Looking ahead, Europe’s acceleration towards Net Zero and greater sustainability will likely see the region become ground-zero for the development of some of the world’s most innovative technologies, equipment and working methods.
Tighter environmental regulation and higher expectations from clients with regards to carbon emissions and recycling rates have already provided fresh opportunities for demolition contractors to show how the work of the industry can benefit both the environment and communities.
With this, and the adoption of more environmentally friendly practices set to rise around the world in time, a period of growth now seems to be firmly on the cards.
Over the past 12 months, a good number of European contractors have made hefty investments in their operations.
For example, Netherlands-based company DDM recently invested in two 3,000-bar water cutting and cleaning units and is continuing to invest in its energy-efficient fleet.
Spanish company Lezama also made substantial investments, adding new high reach excavators such as the new Liebherr 960R Demolition to its fleet, and agreeing a fleet management contract with Hitachi.
The company is also working in consortium on six different projects that aim to develop new recycling techniques for construction and demolition waste.
Turning to the North American region, which accounted for US$3,361 million of this year’s total d&ri100 turnover, contractors from the United States dominated the number of new entrants onto the 2023 ranking.
This year saw eleven American contractors enter the list, with one of them, JDC Demolition, joining the top 20.
While the Canadian contingent numbered only four contractors this year, they all ranked in the top third of the list, with Priestly Demolition Inc, Murray Demolition and Delsan-AIM also making the top 20 North American firms.
Most contractors in the region saw a rise in their turnover figures. And although roughly a third of companies experienced a decline, newer administrative initiatives, such as the Build America, Buy America Act, seem to be having a positive impact. And when coupled with President Biden’s trillion-dollar infrastructure investment, which aims to tackle the backlog of ageing infrastructure, the outlook for contractors operating in US seems set to improve further.
Rest of the World
Elsewhere in the world, companies in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Japan and South Korea, have provided us with what appears to be a similarly optimistic glimpse of the demolition sector.
All of the contractors from the above mentioned countries showed an increase in turnover. When looked at alongside the news reports received by D&Ri over the past 12 months, it could be speculated that while some of these countries have not seen the same level of post-Covid stimulus spending, there is still an indication of upward momentum.
Australia is among those leading the way in sustainability, as evidenced by contractors like Liberty Industrial, which has just begun recycling 150,000 tonnes of steel at Rio Tinto’s Gove Refinery.
Another company fuelling the view that the upswing looks likely to be widespread, is Chilean contractor Flesan. It has had several high-profile projects over the past two years, with one recognised with a 2023 Decontamination Award from AEDED in Spain.
How the d&ri100 is calculated
Exchange rates used to convert domestic currencies to US dollars are from a rolling five-year average between 2018 and 2022.
Sourcing the data
D&Ri invites and welcomes all demolition contractors worldwide to supply turnover data for the d&ri100 and most of the figures quoted are sourced by this method. Others are from reasonable estimates derived from company or financial websites or other online coverage of the demolition industry.
Want to be included in the d&ri100?
Even though this year’s top 100 contractors list has now been published, D&Ri would like to encourage contractors from all over the world to send us their 2022 turnover figures, to help us to build a bigger and more detailed picture of the global demolition market so that we can provide greater insight for contractors everywhere.
To receive an entry form for the d&ri100, please contact Leila.Steed@khl.com. While for obvious reasons we will not be able to add entries to the list in our printed D&Ri magazine, we are happy to edit our online version.
Please also feel free to let us know if your company’s figures are inaccurate, and we will update them online.