Louisiana's Top 80 Contractors
Contractors rebound with 6 percent
increase in overall revenue
A 6 percent increase in revenue among Louisiana's top contractors
is indicative of the economic rebound long predicted by economists.
Calendar-year revenue rose from $3.3 billion in 2003 to nearly
$3.5 billion in 2004 when comparing contractors that reported
for both years.
This nearly reversed a decline of 8 percent suffered the
Perhaps most positively, the increase appears to be widespread
and not necessarily the result of major increases among only
a few companies.
As a result, there were few significant advances or declines
among contractors in the rankings, with the exception of Walton
Construction Co. LLC, which launched itself into the number
two spot in the building construction market. It was the first
time for the company to be ranked in the breakout list.
Other movers in the building breakout were MAPP Construction
LLC of Baton Rouge, moving up from seventh to third in the
state; and Milton J. Womack Inc. of Baton Rouge, which moved
from eighth to fifth.
Also of note:
- The Lemoine Co. LLC of Lafayette retained its position
as the top building contractor in the state
- Turner Industries Group LLC of Baton Rouge retained
its position as the top industrial contractor in the state
- Performance Contractors Inc. of Baton Rouge moved up
into the number two spot in the industrial market breakout
- Cajun Constructors Inc. became the top public works
contractor in the state, moving up from fourth place last
- Boh Bros. Construction of New Orleans retained its
position as the top transportation contractor for the third
year in a row
- Barriere Construction Co. LLC of New Orleans continued
its climb in the top transportation contractors ranking, moving
up to the third spot
Economy rebounds. A slight
reversal of fortunes in the coming years, with the construction
industry gaining 4,300 jobs during 2005-2006.
"Although high natural gas prices were largely responsible
for the sector's recent problems, it is those same high prices
that will provide a positive jolt going forward," said
Loren Scott, James Richardson and A. M. M. Jamal in the
Louisiana Economic Outlook, 2005-06.
McGraw-Hill Construction's Dodge Analytics Group predicts
that the power and utilities market will get the biggest boost
in 2005, with construction investment rising by as much as
115 percent; followed by multi-family construction, increasing
by 43 percent; dams, water and sewer construction, rising
42 percent, and commercial construction, rising 25 percent.
Industrial construction should experience a "slight
kick" due to turnaround projects during 2005, said Al
Bargas, president of Associated Builders and Contractors'
Pelican Chapter in Baton Rouge.
"In 2005 we may see a slight improvement," Bargas
added. "I don't see the chemical industry getting markedly
better because of the cost of natural gas, so it will be focused
on environmental and maintenance type projects."
Although many in the industrial sector have been doing better
this year, the relief isn't affording enough confidence to
move ahead with expansions, said Connie Fabre, executive director
for Greater Baton Rouge Industrial Managers Association.
"Contractors might be seeing more maintenance contracts
pick up, possibly some smaller projects they've been holding
off on the past couple of years, but I haven't heard of any
major projects in the area," she said.
The good news is that several liquefied natural gas projects,
about $600 to $800 million each, are slated for Louisiana,
said economist Loren Scott.
"Two are underway and several more are almost through
the permitting phase," he said. "LSU's Center on
Energy Studies says the projects will bring 14,000 associated
Derrell Cohoon, CEO of Louisiana AGC in Baton Rouge, said
the commercial sector is seeing some improvement and continues
to "sustain the state's economy. It isn't as huge as
it has been, but it is still very positive."
Everyone in the industry is still waiting on passage of a
new highway bill.
"Hopefully, after the election we will see a lot more
movement out of the administration and Congress," Cohoon
said. "Once we get a federal highway bill, I think we'll
see a lot of improvement."
Many Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development
projects are actually progressing more rapidly because they
are funded solely by the state.
"DOTD privatized the program and that is really expediting
things," Cohoon said. Through 2008, $2.3 billion have
been allocated to projects specifically earmarked to be funded
The AGC advocates using taxpayers' dollars to build infrastructure
that, in turn, spurs private development, Cohoon said. That
philosophy has proven successful in downtown Baton Rouge,
where the state invested $400 million dollars in what has
been an $800 million growth spurt.
"We need to be doing that sort of thing across the state
with highways, airports, rail systems and ports," Cohoon
Developing the ranking.
While researching for the Top Contractors ranking, Louisiana
Contractor asked contractors to submit construction-specific
revenue figures for the calendar, not fiscal, year. They must
also have had a permanent office in Louisiana the entire year.
Contractors included a breakdown of the types of construction
their work was concentrated in. Categories include building,
industrial/process, manufacturing, water supply, sewerage/waste
disposal, transportation, hazardous waste and power.
The information was arranged in two separate lists - one
ranking all contractors with a permanent Louisiana office
according to their in-state revenue only, and the other ranking
all Louisiana-based contractors according to their total revenue.
By distinguishing between the two, it was easier to determine
the major players in the state's construction market.
Also included are Top 10 breakout rankings for the major
market sectors, including transportation, industrial/manufacturing,
building and public works.
During the research phase, various methods were used to accumulate
the necessary information. Initially, survey forms were e-mailed
and mailed to general contractors throughout the state, then
were followed up with phone calls or faxes.