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MURRAY & ROBERTS ANNOUNCES FULL YEAR FINANCIAL RESULTS
Johannesburg, 1 September 2021 – Murray & Roberts today announced its annual results for the year ended 30 June 2021.
· Strong return to profitability for continuing operations, after the prior year and initial impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
· Significant, quality order book:
o R60,7 billion (FY2020: R54,2 billion)
o Near orders R11,1 billion (FY2020: R11,4 billion)
o Category 1 project pipeline of R84,1 billion (FY2020: R121,3 billion). Circa R30 billion on a sole-tender basis
· Robust cash position: R1,6 billion unrestricted cash (FY2020: R1,5 billion)
· Proposed sale of two companies in the Middle East – a move towards future cost reduction and risk mitigation
· Lost-time injury frequency rate 0.90 (FY2020: 0.88). Regrettably, one fatal incident occurred
· Financial results:
o Revenue from continuing operations R21,9 billion (FY2020: R20,8 billion)
o Earnings before interest and tax from continuing operations R540 million (FY2020: R17 million loss)
o Attributable loss R180 million (FY2020: R352 million loss)
o Diluted continuing headline earnings per share 16 cents (FY2020: 88 cents per share loss)
o Cash, net of debt, R0,7 billion (FY2020: R0,1 billion net debt)
SALE OF MIDDLE EAST COMPANIES
Stakeholders are referred to the previous announcements regarding the Group’s exit from the Middle East, following its strategic decision in 2017 to withdraw from the building and civil construction sectors and to sell its Infrastructure & Building platform in South Africa. The business in the Middle East was excluded from the sale and pursuing an exit from the region has been a multi-year and complex task, exacerbated by the arduous process of managing commercial close out for all completed building projects.
The Group’s exit from the Middle East is progressing and it has entered a transaction process with a UAE-based investment company for the sale to it of the Abu Dhabi and Dubai companies. Regulatory approval is a pre-requisite for the shares to be transferred to the purchaser. The transaction is expected to be concluded by the end of September 2021. Considering the remaining project disputes in each of the two companies, the parties agreed that the consideration for sale would be a nominal amount.
Although the Group will retain certain potential contingent liabilities post the sale of these two companies - which will be appropriately managed - the proposed transaction will significantly reduce the outflow of ongoing legal fees and costs of maintaining an office in the UAE.
FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2021
Henry Laas, Murray & Roberts Group Chief Executive, comments: “The Group is recovering from the initial impact it experienced in FY2020 from the pandemic, and related deferrals, closures, and restrictions, with continuing operations returning to profitability in the year under review. The Group’s exposure to the natural resources, industrial, energy, water and infrastructure markets, and its strong order book from those markets, holds the potential for meaningful earnings growth in FY2022 and in the medium term.”
Revenue from continuing operations increased to R21,9 billion (FY2020: R20,8 billion), of which 81% was generated from outside of South Africa. The Group reported strong growth in earnings before interest and tax from continuing operations to R540 million (FY2020: R17 million loss). Operating earnings were partly offset by an increased loss for discontinued operations, resulting predominantly from non-recurring extraordinary and non-cash losses, while the attributable loss reduced to R180 million (FY2020: R352 million loss).
The effective tax rate remains high at 73%, mainly due to withholding tax in foreign jurisdictions, as well as losses incurred in entities where future taxable earnings are uncertain. Consequently, no deferred tax assets could be recognised on these losses. It is expected that the tax rate will normalise at more acceptable levels in the near term.
The growth in earnings from continuing operations resulted in diluted continuing headline earnings per share of 16 cents (FY2020: 88 cents loss per share). Cash, net of debt, also improved to R0,7 billion (FY2020: R0,1 billion net debt). The Group is further pleased to report an order book of R60,7 billion (FY2020: R54,2 billion).
Every year, the board of directors of the Company (“Board”) considers an annual dividend, post year end. Dividends are subject to the Group’s financial position and market conditions. Considering the Group’s large and growing order book and its impact on working capital requirements, the Board has resolved not to declare a dividend for the period under review.
ORDER BOOK, NEAR ORDERS AND PROJECT PIPELINE
The Group reported a strong order book of R60,7 billion (FY2020: R54,2 billion), which includes several multi-year contracts. The project pipeline includes near orders of R11,1 billion (FY2020: R11,4 billion) and Category 1 project opportunities of R84,1 billion (FY2020: R121,3 billion), of which circa R30 billion is being negotiated on a sole-tender basis.
OPERATIONAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2020
Energy, Resources & Infrastructure Platform
After the past few years of strategic repositioning to diversify away from its dependence on a single cyclical market in Australian LNG, the platform strongly returned to profitability in the year.
Revenue and operating profit increased to R11,4 billion (FY2020: R6,9 billion) and R227 million (FY2020: R454 million operating loss), respectively. The previous year’s operating loss was due to pandemic-related impacts and two lossmaking projects that are now completed. The platform was successful in securing a large and quality order book of R37,0 billion (FY2020: R34,4 billion). Near orders were increased marginally to R1,1 billion (FY2020: R1,0 billion).
The order book has reached a historic high, with significant levels of revenue secured for FY2022 and FY2023 and a strong pipeline of project opportunities, supporting the expectation of strong earnings growth from this platform over at least the next three years.
The platform has done well to grow its order book and to protect it from deterioration due to the significant impact of the pandemic. The order book is strong, and the near-term project pipeline is robust and growing.
Revenue and operating profit decreased to R9,5 billion (FY2020: R12,0 billion) and R473 million (FY2020: R630 million), respectively. The decrease is due to the Americas having experienced a prolonged period of disruption due to the pandemic, which led to high levels of commodity uncertainty and flagged investment decisions by the mining companies. The order book increased to R23,2 billion (FY2020: R19,4 billion) and near orders were marginally lower at R9,7 billion (FY2020: R10,4 billion).
The forecast for increased capital investment in the mining industry is encouraging, providing support for expected accelerated earnings growth for the platform, especially as from FY2023.
Power, Industrial & Water Platform
This sub-Saharan focused platform continues to face significant challenges to its viability and profitability and is focused on creating a sustainable base over the next three years, delivering an acceptable return on investment for the Group.
Revenue decreased to R1,0 billion (FY2020: R2,0 billion) and the platform recorded an operating loss of R175 million (FY2020: R44 million operating loss). The order book increased marginally to R0,5 billion (FY2020: R0,4 billion) and near orders are at R0,3 billion (FY2020: Nil). The increased loss is due to the platform’s low revenue base relative to its overhead costs, exacerbated by the completion of several lossmaking projects, largely due to pandemic impacts.
Wade Walker Solar was mandated to pursue industrial photovoltaic opportunities up to 10MW in scale and operations commenced in December 2020. This business has secured its first projects, albeit at a small scale. With the increase in the self-generation limit from 1MW to 100MW, the platform is likely to see more prospects in the renewable energy sector and has entered cooperation arrangements with technology owners to pursue these opportunities.
No projects of any significant value were secured during the period.
The Group’s is on the cusp of a multi-year period of strong earnings growth, considering its return to profitability for continuing operations, its strong order book of R60,7 billion and the growing demand for its services.
Over the next three years, the Group expects most of its revenue to be derived from its two international business platforms, which have established credible positions in regions and sectors with sustainable growth prospects.
The Group is confident that it has the leadership, financial and resource capacity to deliver on its aspirations. Any forward-looking information contained in this announcement has not been audited and reported on by the Group’s external auditors.
*Please note that this media statement contains extracts from the full annual financial results for the year ended 30 June 2021 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 21E 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 is a leading engineering and construction services group of companies and focuses its expertise and capacity on delivering sustainable project engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations and maintenance solutions.
The Group delivers its capabilities into the resources, industrial, energy, water and specialised infrastructure sectors.
The Group disposed of its infrastructure businesses in April 2017 and no longer delivers any civil and building construction projects.
Murray & Roberts is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is listed on the JSE Limited. It has offices in:
a. South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Ghana
2. Australasia: a. Australia
4. North America:
a. 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.
For more information about Murray & Roberts, please visit www.murrob.com