Heavy full-year loss for Murray & Roberts

01 September 2011

South African contractor Murray & Roberts reported a net loss for the year ended 30 June, 2011, of ZAR 1.6 billion (US$ 248 million) after making a ZAR 1.9 billion (US$ 282 million) provision for legal penalties and contract completion costs.

The result compared to a full-year profit of ZAR 1.2 billion (US$ 157 million) in 2010. The company, which also said it had experienced difficult trading conditions during the year, is being investigated for cartel activity by South Africa's Competition Commission.

Chief executive Henry Laas said the 2011 financial year had been one of "almost unprecedented challenge" for Murray & Roberts.

"The Group has committed to full co-operation with the Competition Commission to eradicate anti-competitive behaviour within the construction industry.

"Regrettably, and due mainly to late notifications by former subsidiary company executives, a limited number of projects were identified where possible transgressions may have occurred," Mr Laas said.

The company has lodged applications in the Competition Commission's Fast Track settlement process.

Despite these difficulties, Murray & Roberts reported a +10% year-on-year rise in revenues to ZAR 30.5 billion (US$ 4.3 billion) and a healthy order book of ZAR 55 billion (US$ 7.8 billion), compared to ZAR 44 billion (US$ 6.3 billion) at the end of 2010.

"We expect to return to an acceptable level of profitability in the year ahead and forecast to experience improved trading conditions," Mr Laas said.

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