Construction preliminaries and margins

Preliminaries can vary quite widely within a region, depending on the type and location of the construction. As they take account of the setting up costs for a construction job, in regions where there is a high degree of complexity preliminaries tend to be higher.

Tight construction spaces, traffic management, site delivery management, all add to costs. Typically, higher preliminaries costs occur in Australasia, Germany, the UK and the USA.

You can explore preliminaries in more detail in the heatmap in our app.

Margin variations

Some of the lowest profit margins among main contractors are in the United Kingdom, where the average is just 4.0 percent. Australasia is only slightly higher, with New Zealand at 7.0 percent margin. In the USA and Canada, the average margin is 5.2 percent. South of the border in Mexico margins are higher at 10.0 percent. In South America margins tend to be higher, averaging 8.0 percent.

There was a wide range of main-contractor margins recorded for Europe. Overall, most markets recorded five to six percent margins. However, in overheated markets, such as Amsterdam and Sweden, margins are as high as 10.0 percent.

Asia has some with very high margins. Margins in Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore, Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City are all 10.0 percent or above. In previous years, some of the highest margins have been in the Middle East, where 10.0 percent margins have been common, but in 2019 the average is 6.6 percent.

You can explore margins in more detail in the heatmap in the heatmap in our app.

Read more about ICMS 2019