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Murray & Roberts Announces Full Year Financial Results
Johannesburg, 29 August 2018 – Murray & Roberts today announced its annual results for the year ended 30 June 2018.
· Financial results:
o Revenue from continuing operations increased by 2% to R21,8 billion (FY2017: R21,4 billion)
o Diluted continuing HEPS increased by 56% to 112 cents (FY2017: 72 cents)
o Attributable earnings increased by 456% to R267 million (FY2017: R48 million)
o Gross annual dividend increased by 11% to 50 cents per ordinary share (FY2017: 45 cents)
o Cash, net of debt, increased by 11% to R2 billion (30 June 2017: R1,8 billion)
o Order book for continuing operations increased by 12% to R30,1 billion (30 June 2017: R26,9 billion)
· Good results were reported by the Underground Mining platform, the largest contributor to Group earnings in the year. Strong platform order book of R22,1 billion (30 June 2017: R17,5 billion).
· The Oil & Gas platform maintained earnings and secured significant projects in complementary markets in Australia and Mongolia, thereby increasing its order book to R6,4 billion (30 June 2017: R5,2 billion).
· Robust balance sheet and strong net cash position.
· Lost time injury frequency rate (“LTIFR”) deteriorated to 0.86 (FY2017: 0.52). Regrettably, one fatal incident occurred.
· Independent Board’s view of fair price range for control of Murray & Roberts is between R20.00 to R22.00 per ordinary share.
FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2018
Henry Laas, Murray & Roberts Group Chief Executive, comments: “The Group’s New Strategic Future, which the board of directors of Murray & Roberts approved in 2014, has by design brought about a significant change in Murray & Roberts. The Group has transformed from being a predominantly South African civil and building contractor, to a multinational engineering and construction Group focused on the natural resources market sectors.”
Revenue from continuing operations increased by 2% to R21,8 billion (FY2017: R21,4 billion) and attributable earnings increased by 456% to R267 million (FY2017: R48 million). Diluted continuing headline earnings per share (“HEPS”) increased by 56% to 112 cents (FY2017: 72 cents). Cash, net of debt, increased to R2 billion (30 June 2017: R1,8 billion).
Capital expenditure for continuing operations for the year was R436 million (FY2017: R511 million) of which R358 million (FY2017: R395 million) was for expansion and R78 million (FY2017: R116 million) for replacement. The order book for continuing operations increased by 12% to R30,1 billion (30 June 2017: R26,9 billion).
The high effective taxation rate of 36% (FY2017: 36%) is due to profits earned in higher tax jurisdictions, foreign withholding taxes and losses incurred in the Middle East, a tax free jurisdiction.
The Group continues to focus on cost reduction and operational excellence to improve profitability.
Considering the Group’s strong cash position, the Board resolved to increase the gross annual dividend to 50 cents per ordinary share (FY2017: 45 cents).
OFFER TO ACQUIRE MURRAY & ROBERTS BY ATON GMBH (“ATON”)
Murray & Roberts’ strategic direction and portfolio of businesses have made it an attractive investment. During the financial year an offer was made by ATON to procure control of Murray & Roberts, through its formal offer to the remaining shareholders to acquire all their shares in Murray & Roberts at R15 per share. An independent committee of the Board was constituted to respond to the ATON offer (“Independent Board”), and recommended that shareholders reject the offer as it was below the fair price range for control, which was considered to be in the range of R20 to R22 per share, as determined by the Independent Board.
ATON increased its investment in the Group to some 44% from around 30%. Exceeding 35% triggered the Companies Act requirement to make a mandatory offer to all shareholders. This offer was made on 2 July 2018 at R17 per share, subject to certain conditions. The offer will remain open to shareholders for acceptance for no less than 10 business days after the offer is declared unconditional in all respects.
The Group’s strategic aspirations and ATON’s investment objectives in relation to Murray & Roberts are not aligned. This has resulted in the Group’s aspirations, which includes making strategic acquisitions and repurchasing its own shares, being impeded. The Group remains open to engage with ATON to clarify its intentions with Murray & Roberts and to seek alignment on the Group’s strategic direction.
POTENTIAL TRANSACTION WITH AVENG
The potential combination of Murray & Roberts and Aveng, an opportunity which the Group was considering since the fourth quarter of 2017, was announced in May 2018. The proposed combination of Murray & Roberts’ Oil & Gas and Underground Mining platforms with Aveng’s McConnell Dowell (infrastructure) and Moolmans (mining) businesses was compelling and would have established Murray & Roberts as a significant multinational engineering and construction group.
The Group obtained the requisite approvals from the Takeover Regulation Panel and our shareholders to further develop this transaction. The Takeover Special Committee then overturned the Takeover Regulation Panel approval and ruled that Murray & Roberts may not develop the potential transaction whilst the ATON mandatory offer remains in place.
As part of Aveng’s recent rights offer, ATON acquired 25.42% of Aveng’s equity, thereby establishing negative control of Aveng. ATON was not supportive of the combination of Murray & Roberts and Aveng, and with its shareholding in Aveng it has the ability to block any such combination.
Following these developments, the Murray & Roberts Board withdrew from the potential Aveng transaction in early August 2018.
OPERATIONAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2018
Oil & Gas Platform
Revenue increased to R8,5 billion (FY2017: R6,7 billion), primarily due to scope growth on the Ichthys and Wheatstone projects. In a competitive market with extreme pressure on margins, operating profit came in at R209 million (FY2017: R217 million) notwithstanding the increase in revenue. The order book increased to R6,4 billion (30 June 2017: R5,2 billion), comprising a diverse portfolio of new work, mainly in complementary markets. Meaningful growth off this low base is expected as market confidence gradually returns and global energy producers start investing in new projects.
Underground Mining Platform
Revenue and operating profit came in at R8,0 billion (FY2017: R8,0 billion) and R471 million (FY2017: R464 million) respectively. Excellent performance by Cementation Africa, was largely offset by a decline in margins in Australasia as a result of the non-extension of a contract on a major project. The platform order book increased to R22,1 billion (30 June 2017: R17,5 billion), with project awards across all jurisdictions during the second half of the year.
Power & Water Platform
Revenue, operating profit and the order book decreased to R4,8 billion (FY2017: R5,9 billion), R134 million (FY2017: R171 million) and R1,5 billion (30 June 2017: R3,7 billion) respectively. This overall reduction is due to the phased completion of the Medupi and Kusile mega projects, which for the last seven years underpinned the platform’s financial performance.
Murray & Roberts increased its investment in the Bombela Concession Company to 50%, by acquiring an additional 17% during the first half of the year. This investment yields strong cash returns and the fair value adjustment for the year increased to R278 million (FY2017: R253 million).
Considering current market expectations, the Group is confident that its growth plans for the next three-year planning period are achievable. Cost management will continue to be a focus and all platforms are targeting levels of overhead costs of about 6% of revenue, through the commodity cycle.
Each of the Group’s three business platforms are at different stages in their strategic development and they continue to diversify their specialist service offerings, to increase growth and margin opportunity and to mitigate risk across different international regions and phases of the project life cycle.
With a well-refined business model and strategy, and a focused portfolio of quality business assets, the Group is committed to drive sustainable growth and earnings improvement. The Group’s robust financial position provides the capacity to support its growth plans.
“The progress made over the recent past years in de-risking the Group, refining its business model and optimising its portfolio of businesses has allowed focus to shift towards enhancement of the strategic positioning and earnings potential of the Group’s three business platforms for the longer term. The evolution of the Group’s strategy in anticipation and response to market dynamics, specifically the cyclicality of the natural resources market sectors in which the Group operates, has provided a clear roadmap for shareholder value growth in the years ahead,” concludes Laas.
*Please note that this media statement contains extracts from the full annual financial results for the year ended 30 June 2018 and should be read in conjunction with the full annual financial results available on www.murrob.com.
For further information contact:
Group Investor and Media Executive
This announcement includes certain various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the US Securities Act 10 1933 and Section 21 E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that reflect the current views or expectations of the Board with respect to future events and financial and operational performance. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, those concerning: the Group’s strategy; the economic outlook for the industry; and the Group’s liquidity and capital resources and expenditure. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement and are not based on historical facts, but rather reflect the Group’s current expectations concerning future results and events and generally may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “should”, “planned”, “may”, “potential” or similar words and phrases. The Group undertakes no obligation to update publicly or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this announcement or to reflect the occurrence of any unexpected events. Neither the content of the Group’s website, nor any website accessible by hyperlinks on the Group’s website is incorporated in, or forms part of, this announcement.
About Murray & Roberts
Murray & Roberts has a long and proud heritage of more than a century and is today recognised as a multinational project life cycle group. It’s the Group’s vision to be a leading multinational group that applies its project life cycle capabilities to optimise client’s fixed capital investment. The Group achieves this by focusing its expertise and capacity on delivering sustainable and fit-for-purpose project engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations and maintenance solutions.
The Group delivers its capabilities into three global market sectors: oil & gas; metals & minerals and power & water.
Murray & Roberts is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is listed on the JSE Limited. It has offices in:
- South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Ghana
- Australia and South Korea
- North America
- USA and Canada
Murray & Roberts is a group of world-class companies and brands aligned to the same purpose and vision, and guided by the same set of values.
More information is available at www.murrob.com