Murray and Roberts HEPS surge 77%

Posted On Thursday, 30 August 2007 02:00 Published by Commercial Property News
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The group has extended its operations in all key sectors of the domestic markets and substantially enhanced its focused international presence

Brian Bruce Murray and RobertsConstruction and civil engineering group Murray & Roberts boosted headline earnings per share by 77% from 184 cents to 325 cents for the 12 months ended June.

This was achieved on the back of a 61% growth in revenues to 17.9 billion rand.

A final dividend of 71 cents per share (2006: 40 cents per share) was declared, increasing the total dividend for the full year by 93% to 116 cents per share (2006: 60 cents per share).

The group, which gained entry to the JSE Top 40 Index in May this year, said during the year it had extended its operations in all key sectors of the domestic markets and substantially enhanced its focused international presence.

"We secured a number of major projects in many of our operating environments, which bodes well for the future performance of our Group. There is every indication that demand for our products and services will remain buoyant for the foreseeable future.

"The consolidation of Concor in the year and Clough from 1 July 2007 has provided the impetus to treble our core revenues over the three year period 2006 to 2009," said Murray & Roberts CEO Brian Bruce.

Operating cash inflow for the 12 months was up 224% at 1.94 billion rand (2006: R598 million) for the year with a year-end net cash position of 2.6 billion rand (2006: R1.6 billion) after net capital expenditure of 1.0 billion rand (2006: R338 million) and a net inflow of 93 million rand (2006: R126 million outflow) arising from acquisitions and disposals. A 637 million rand decrease in working capital (2006: R195 million increase) reflected improved payments in Middle East and advance payments on major projects, the group said.

Operating profit increased 100% to 1.44 billion (2006: R719 million). The operating margin of 8.0% (2006: 6.5%) is the highest ever recorded by Murray & Roberts and has moved ahead of the strategic range of 5.0% to 7.5% established for Rebuilding Murray & Roberts.

During the year the price of the group's share on the JSE Limited (JSE)increased 150% from 25.40 rand to 64.00 rand peaking more than 200% up at 81.50 rand in July 2007. The group entered the JSE Top 40 Index on 7 May 2007 and has subsequently become the largest company by market capitalisation in its sector.

Shareholder Funds increased 18% to 3.6 billion and a return of 20.9% (2006: 16.7%) on average shareholder funds in the year exceeds the strategic group target of 20%, despite the currently underperforming investment in Clough.

An amount of 290 million rand in cash plus balance sheet support has been committed to the recapitalisation of Clough and to increase the group's shareholding above 60%.

The group's project order book stood at 22.5 billion rand at 1 July 2007 (2006: R10 billion), an increase of 125% in the year and up from 15 billion rand at the half-year stage. This includes 5.0 billion rand (AUD810 million) derived through the consolidation of Clough.

The order book comprises Construction Middle East at 2.2 billion rand (R2.3 billion); Construction SADC at 8.5 billion rand (R3.8 billion); Mining SADC at 3.3 billion rand (R2.6 billion); Resources Global (including Clough) at 6.6 billion rand (R0.5 billion); and Engineering Contracting at 1.6 billion rand (R0.7 billion).

The regional order book is SADC 58% (71%); Middle East 13% (23%); Australasia 24% (1%) and North America 5% (5%).

During the year the group became a key participant in some high-profile projects including the 24 billion rand Gautrain Rapid Rail Link; the 3.0 billion rand Greenpoint Stadium for the 2010 Soccer World Cup; the 21 billion rand Coega Aluminium Smelter for Alcan; and secured a partnership with Dubai Holdings owned Sama Dubai for managing the implementation of about 60 billion rand of its investment programme.

"A number of Group companies have combined their strengths and capabilities and together with international and local partners as appropriate are ready to pursue the significant power station build programme developing in Southern Africa. Murray & Roberts is well positioned to play a key role in the long-term implementation of this program, building on the experience of various companies acquired over the past two decades such as Genrec, Gillis Mason and Concor, all of which played a key role in the previous power station build programme," the group said.

"Activity levels in the Group's construction materials and services companies remain high, supporting a positive future outlook for performance delivery. The inclusion of Concor Technicrete has enhanced the Group's market presence in this sector.

"Two contracts to build and supply more than 150 locomotives to Spoornet in South Africa will bear fruit in the coming year and there are plans for further upgrade and renewal of the total rolling stock asset in the region. The UCW order book stood at 2.6 billion rand at year-end," Murray & Roberts said.

Last modified on Friday, 21 June 2013 22:35

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