Poland’s construction boom hides a highly-fragmented industry

The leading 40 construction companies operating in the Poland, which represent 31 per cent of total revenue posted by medium- and large- sized developers, posted 11.7 billion euros in aggregate revenue in 2018, breaking the previous record set in 2011.

According to Polish market research company Spectis, besides an improved volume of work, the revenue hike was also largely driven by rising prices of building materials and labour.

However, the Spectis report shows that the Polish construction sector is still a highly-fragmented industry, with consolidation moving at a slow pace. Accordingly, the country’s top five construction groups – Budimex, Strabag, Skanska, Porr and Erbud – account for just under nine per cent of the entire sector’s value in terms of output, and they also represent 12 per cent of revenue reported by construction companies that employ more than nine members of staff.

The construction industry remains highly unpredictable as it has been historically typified by a volatile number of large-scale orders from one year to another. A fact that should be noted is that the vast majority of major companies are specialised in a specific type of construction activity, such as industrial and warehouses, railways, bridges or tunnel construction) which makes them highly vulnerable to changes in the market.

In-depth analysis of several hundred ongoing construction contracts reveals that only a handful of the major construction groups take the effort to diversify their order books on a regular basis, which was instrumental in them becoming industry stalwarts over the past decade and ever-present in a list of the top 20 construction companies in Poland. Indeed, only three leading companies have managed to maintain their positions in the ranking in recent years.