Wednesday, 07 November 2007 02:00

Moses Mabhida stadium on track: Management

Construction on the Moses Mabhida 2010 Soccer World Cup stadium is on track

Wednesday, 26 September 2007 02:00

Cape Town hopeful stadium strike nearing end

City of Cape Town officials are hopeful that the strike by construction workers at the 2010 soccer stadium in Green Point will soon be over.

Construction IndustryAll work stopped at the site last Wednesday when about 1000 workers employed by contractors Murray & Roberts and WBHO went on strike over a travel allowance.

The council's director 2010: technical, Dave Hugo, told Sapa on Tuesday the city was awaiting the outcome of a midday meeting between the contractors and union representatives over a shuttle service for workers.

A new drop-off and pick-up point close to Cape Town station had been proposed, and he was hopeful this would prove acceptable to workers.

"We've had no feedback as yet, but expect to do so during the afternoon," Hugo said.

It is understood that if the contractors provide a shuttle service for workers -- the site is about 2km from the station -- the travel allowance payment requirement will fall away.

Hugo said the stoppage, now in its fourth working day, was unlikely to set back the completion date for the 68,000-seater stadium.

"We can make the time up, working extra hours and weekends," he said.



Construction on the King Shaka International Airport, which will replace the existing Durban International Airport, will continue full-steam ahead

Tuesday, 28 August 2007 02:00

WBHO full year HEPS up

Construction group Wilson Bayly Holmes Ovcom (WBHO) on Monday reported 512.1 cents in headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year ended June compared with 351.7 cents a year ago.

Construction IndustryA final dividend of 85 cents per share (2006: 54 cents) has been declared which, together with the interim dividend of 36 cents per share, gives a total dividend of 121 cents for the year - up from 81 cents a year ago.

Revenue rose 40.3% to 8.1 billion rand and operating profit surged 58.6% to 415.8 million rand.

The group's building and civil division, which plays a major role in preparing the country for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, increased turnover by 31% from 4.4 billion rand to 5.7 billion rand in 2007. Operating profit increased by 47% to 222 million rand.

"We are partners in joint ventures which have been awarded contracts for the construction of the King Shaka International Airport, as well as the soccer stadia in Durban, Cape Town and Polokwane. Because of the early stages of these contracts no profits have been recognised in these accounts," the company said.

In addition, the group is engaged in major works at OR Tambo International Airport as well as the construction of shopping centres, office and apartment blocks and hospitals throughout the country.

It has recently been awarded in joint venture the One and Only Hotel in the Cape Town Waterfront.

However, in Australia, turnover has been relatively flat compared to 2006, but Probuild Constructions nevertheless increased profits by 11%, the company noted.

"There are indications that the market is improving in Melbourne and the order book is at a reasonable level," the group said.

Basic Constructions, the group's cvil engineering company in Brisbane, experienced a busy year with turnover increasing by 22%.

"Our activities in Sydney also showed significant growth and we have strengthened our foothold in this large but competitive market," the company said.

The road and earth works division's turnover of 1.9 billion rand was 61% higher than last year. Operating profit increased by 7% from 71 million rand to 76 million rand but with margins declining from 6.1% to 4%.

"Work for the mining sector has increased, providing good opportunities for additional work for the division. The division is also contracting in the DRC, Ghana, Zambia and other SADC countries," the group said.

Looking ahead, the group said its outlook for the construction industry remained positive with prospects for new work more likely to arise in the civil engineering sector than in the building sector.

"We believe we are well placed to benefit from this shift in the industry," the group said.

The company is starting the 2008 financial year with an order book of 10.6 billion rand ? from 6.1 billion rand last year.

"The nature of our order book has changed with a greater number of large contracts spread over longer time periods," the group said.


Group Five's strategic refocusing was reflected in its solid set of results for the year to June released on Monday.

Mike UptonThe group's revenue increased 31,1% to R7,7 billion from R5,9 billion last year.

Most significant was the strong growth in profitability, especially the group's achievement of a 5,1% margin.

According to CEO Mike Upton, this was achieved by the group's focused strategy of building a balanced portfolio of businesses across the construction sector and a particular focus on improving margins in its main business, construction.

The group also replaced the revenue and margins of its disposed businesses, Vaal and DPI, with higher-margin businesses in the materials sector.

The construction sector has evolved, requiring companies to develop expertise beyond basic construction to increase capacity to take on larger and more complex contracts from inception to completion.

The group has a clear strategy and three core revenue streams across construction, investments and concessions, and manufacturing and building materials.

Upton said yesterday the group saw organic growth in investments and concessions and the rationalisation and acquisition of materials businesses as the route to improved margins and sustainable performance.

With the group's one-year order book at R4,8 billion and capacity of about R7,3 billion, the strong market provides significant scope for Group Five to choose higher-margin contracts.

With a new strategy that is meant to ensure a balanced business mix, the group can expect to achieve further earnings growth in the 2008 financial year.

Group Five's competitors have also seen growth as the R100 billion a year construction sector continued grow, with Murray & Roberts announcing that its order book had increased to R22 billion in March this year, up from R15 billion in December last year.

Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon started this year with an order book of R5,3 billion.


Wednesday, 04 July 2007 02:00

Group Five wins R1,8 billion contract

Construction company Group Five has won a R1,8-billion contract from Transnet to widen Durban's existing harbour by 100m and to increase the depth by 6m.

Mike UptonWorking with Belgian company, Dredging International, Group Five Civil Engineering is responsible for the civil portion of the contract, valued at R1,1 billion.

Transnet group chief executive Maria Ramos last week announced the state-owned enterprise's plans to spend R78 billion on expanding South Africa's rail, port and fuel pipeline infrastructure over the next five years and this amount is likely to grow as more projects get the go-ahead.

Group Five's managing director of the civil engineering operations, Andrew McJannet said: "We are very pleased with this contract, which was won against international competition. We believe our previous marine civils experience, such as the Moma Jetty in Mozambique and the dry bulk terminal jetty in Richards Bay, played a role in us being the winning bidder."

Group Five's partner on the project, Dredging International, has dispatched a hi-tech dredger capable of moving 5000m of rock and silt an hour from Belgium to achieve the 7-million cubic metres that will be moved over the next two years.

"This is the third major contract in Kwazulu-Natal awarded to the group since the beginning of 2007. We have already started on the 2010 Durban soccer stadium, in consortium with WBHO and Pandev, and have signed the contract for the R6,8 billion King Shaka Airport, in which Group Five is the lead contractor for the Ilembe Consortium - which includes WBHO and the KZN Empowerment Group," said Group Five's chief executive officer Mike Upton.

Work on the harbour has started, with the demolition of existing land structures and the establishment of a pre-cast concrete yard close to the site where the blocks required for the contract will be cast.

The contract is due for completion in May 2010


Friday, 08 June 2007 02:00

New Landmark Takes Shape

The massive new Fairland office complex – a new landmark at the intersection of Gauteng’s Beyers Naude Drive and the N1 Western Bypass – is taking shape, and construction is on track for completion in early March 2008, building contractor Grinaker-LTA has announced. The firm is undertaking the R715-million construction contract for this 120 000 m2 development in a joint venture with Wilson Bayly Holmes Ovcon.

Construction Industry“The concrete structure and structural steel roofs are complete,” notes Grinaker-LTA Building managing director Neil Cloete. “"The brickwork is nearing completion, and the windows and glazed screens
are being installed. Construction of the unusually shaped fire stair pods - which are designed to display signage – is in progress.”

Inside the buildings the contractors are currently installing access flooring and ceilings. The finishing trades, such as tiling, have just started, Cloete adds.

”The roadworks for the paved parking areas and access roads has also started and we are trying to make as much progress as possible before the next rainy season,” he concludes.

This office complex is being developed by RMB Properties for tenants FNB Homeloans and Wesbank.


Construction firm Grinaker LTA was excluded from the bidding process to build the King Shaka airport in Durban because it could not commit to the black-economic empowerment procurement required by Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa)

Wednesday, 14 March 2007 02:00

Cape Town picks its Green Point builders

The R2,85bn tender for building the World Cup soccer stadium at Green Point was awarded yesterday to a joint venture of Murray & Roberts and WBHO Construction.

Mayor Helen Zille is 'very relieved' that construction of the 2010 World Cup Green Point project would go ahead

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