Murray & Roberts sees upswing

By Chris Sleight29 August 2013

Murray & Roberts’ revenues rose +9% for the financial year to the end of June, to ZAR 34.6 billion (US$ 3.36 billion). Net profit for the South African contractor came in at ZAR 1.0 billion (US$ 97 million), compared to a loss of ZAR 700 million (US$68 million a year ago).

Group chief executive Henry Laas, said, "The Board is pleased with the significant improvement in the Group's financial results and expects the Group's positive earnings trend to continue in the medium-to long term, driven mainly by its international operations."

It has been a busy year for the company. It was one of 15 companies to reach a final settlement with South Africa’s Competition Commission in June over previous anti-competitive behaviour. Murray & Roberts was fined ZAR 309 million (US$ 30 million) as a result of the fast-track process.

Mr Laas said, "Murray & Roberts is a well recognised name and has played a significant role in developing the country's infrastructure for more than 110 years. While current management were not implicated, we have taken decisive action to ensure that anti-competitive practices will not be repeated.”

In July it launched a bid to acquire the 38.4% it does not already own in Australian contractor Clough. The deal is expected to cost some AU$ 434 million (US$ 393 million).

"The proposed Clough acquisition is compelling and consistent with the Group's long-term growth plans. To support our long-term growth the Group has focused on its core competencies of engineering & construction and identified the energy (oil & gas and power) and mining & minerals market sectors as presenting the best medium-to long term growth opportunity," said Mr Laas.

This year also saw Murray & Roberts agree to dispose of most of its construction products subsidiaries, and the company confirmed it was in talks with potential buyers for its remaining business in this sector, steel pipe manufacturer Hall Longmore.

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