Amidst what could be one of the most business-friendly environments seen in years, America’s largest electrical contractors appear to be thriving as a group, beneficiaries of growth-oriented tax policies, looser regulation, and a building boom.
The 50 companies with the highest reported revenue in 2017 brought in a combined $26.2 billion worth of electrical work. Those companies, which comprise EC&M’s annual Top 50 ranking for 2018 in terms of reported prior-year revenues, outdid last year’s collection of key players by $2.4 billion — or 10% above their 2016 revenues of $23.8 billion (Fig. 1).
The 2018 Top 50 not only established a new record for non-inflation adjusted income, but also recorded the biggest year-over-year jump in revenues since 2014, when, barreling out of the last recession, the 2015 Top 50 reported a 39% surge. Revenues then basically flatlined until last year. Little wonder, then, that the annual EC&M Top 50 survey, which yields the revenue numbers as well as deep insights into contractors’ business priorities, concerns, challenges, and opportunities, found many respondents upbeat. Eight of 10 companies said the “business climate” was strong (Fig. 2). Look back just two years, though, and the share of contractors seeing a favorable climate was just more than 60%. A year later, seven in 10 of the 2017 Top 50 judged the climate as strong.