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MURRAY & ROBERTS ANNOUNCES INTERIM FINANCIAL RESULTS
Johannesburg, 2 March 2022 – Murray & Roberts today announced its interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2021.
· Strong growth in revenue and earnings from continuing operations
· Significant, quality order book of R61,1 billion (FY2021 H1: R60,5 billion)
· Robust near orders of R12,8 billion (FY2021 H1: R19,9 billion)
· Category 1 project pipeline of R74,3 billion (FY2021 H1: R94,7 billion). Circa R20 billion on a sole-tender basis
· Lost-time injury frequency rate improved to 0.42 (FY2021 H1: 1.00). No fatal incidents occurred
· Financial results:
o Revenue from continuing operations R13,3 billion (FY2021 H1: R10,8 billion)
o Earnings before interest and tax from continuing operations R337 million (FY2021 H1: R117 million)
o Attributable earnings of R55 million (FY2021 H1: R167 million loss)
o Diluted continuing headline earnings per share 29 cents (FY2021 H1: 8 cents loss per share)
FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2021
The Group is pleased to report strong growth in revenue and earnings in the period under review. The business impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions has continued into FY2022, mainly in the Group’s American and Australasian operations. Areas of impact include the timing of new work awards, changes to project schedules, and disruption of supply chains. The Group is actively managing these challenges.
The Group currently generates revenue from its order book of between R2,0 billion and R2,5 billion per month and is maintaining the order book value at record levels of about R60 billion, through the systematic addition of new project awards.
Henry Laas, Murray & Roberts Group Chief Executive, comments: “Over the next three years, the Group expects most of its revenue and earnings to be generated by its two international business platforms, being the Mining and the Energy, Resources & Infrastructure platforms. Both platforms have established credible positions in regions and sectors with sustainable growth prospects. South Africa’s renewable energy sector is expected to provide opportunity for the Power, Industrial & Water platform to return to profitability in the medium term.”
Revenue from continuing operations increased to R13,3 billion (FY2021 H1: R10,8 billion), of which circa 85% was generated from international markets. The Group reported strong growth in earnings before interest and tax from continuing operations, to R337 million (FY2021 H1: R117 million). The Group’s operating margin of 2.5% is below the targeted range of between 3% to 5%, due to the continued impact of COVID-19 on efficiencies. Diluted continuing headline earnings per share increased to 29 cents (FY2021 H1: 8 cents loss per share).
The effective tax rate remains high at 50%, but significantly down on the 73% reported for FY2021. The high tax rate is mainly due to withholding tax in foreign jurisdictions, as well as losses incurred in tax entities where future taxable earnings are uncertain, and no deferred tax assets could thus be recognised on these losses. The Group expects that the tax rate will continue to decrease to more acceptable levels in the medium term.
Earnings attributable to ordinary shareholders increased to R55 million (FY2021 H1: R167 million loss).
Cash, net of debt, improved to R0,9 billion (FY2021 H1: R0,3 billion). Cash is expected to reduce during FY2022 H2, as certain project milestone payments will be delayed into FY2023, essentially due to the continuing widespread impact of the pandemic on supply chains, and restrictive labour regulations, slowing down project progress.
The Group is pleased with the continued strength of its order book at R61,1 billion (FY2021 H1: R60,5 billion) and expects further growth in the order book throughout the 2022 calendar year.
Consistent with previous years, the Group does not pay interim dividends. The board of directors of the Company (“Board”) considers a dividend on an annual basis, post year end.
ORDER BOOK, NEAR ORDERS AND PROJECT PIPELINE
The Group reported a strong order book of R61,1 billion (FY2021 H1: R60,5 billion), which includes several multi-year contracts. The project pipeline includes robust near orders of R12,8 billion (FY2021 H1: R19,9 billion) and Category 1 project opportunities of R74,3 billion (FY2021 H1: R94,7 billion), of which circa R20 billion is being negotiated on a sole-tender basis.
Energy, Resources & Infrastructure Platform
This multinational business is mainly focused on the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas. After several years of strategic repositioning to diversify away from its dependence on a single and cyclical market in Australian LNG, the platform recorded a strong result for the period under review.
Revenue and operating profit increased significantly to R7,4 billion (FY2021 H1: R5,2 billion) and R215 million (FY2021 H1: break-even), respectively. The strong order book reduced slightly to R38,4 billion (FY2021 H1: R42,2 billion) and there are currently no near orders (FY2021 H1: R5,0 billion). However, the largest of the Group’s Category 1 project opportunities, with an order book contribution of circa R20 billion, is expected to be awarded to this platform in the current financial year.
The order book reflects the platform’s thriving target markets, with Australia continuing to invest in resources and infrastructure development. The platform’s order book and market prospects support the expectation of strong earnings growth over at least the next three years.
This multinational business comprises three regional businesses in Africa, the Americas and Australasia. The platform returned a strong result, considering it is the business that has been most impacted by the pandemic, especially in the Americas.
Revenue and operating profit increased to R5,4 billion (FY2021 H1: R5,1 billion) and R184 million (FY2021 H1: R176 million), respectively. The order book increased significantly to R22,2 billion (FY2021 H1: R17,9 billion) and near orders were lower at R11,6 billion (FY2021 H1: R14,7 billion). The platform has done well to grow its order book during the period under review, especially as the Kalagadi Manganese mining project has been excluded from the order book, following the consensual, early termination of the contract. The conclusion of the termination agreement remains subject to lenders’ approval, which is expected to be obtained in the current financial year.
The forecast for increased capital investment in the mining industry is encouraging, providing support for the expected accelerated earnings growth for the platform as from FY2023.
Power, Industrial & Water Platform
This sub-Saharan focused platform faces challenging market conditions, however, confidence is starting to build that the renewable energy sector in South Africa will provide opportunity for it to return to profitability in the short to medium term.
Revenue was slightly down at R0,5 billion (FY2021 H1: R0,6 billion) and the platform recorded an operating loss of R65 million (FY2021 H1: R67 million operating loss). The order book increased marginally to R0,5 billion (FY2021 H1: R0,4 billion) and near orders increased significantly to R1,2 billion (FY2021 H1: R0,2 billion).
The platform continues to perform low value maintenance work at Medupi. Several transmission tenders invited by Eskom are under adjudication and it is anticipated that some of these projects will be secured in the short term.
Wade Walker Solar has been established to pursue industrial photovoltaic opportunities up to 10MW in scale, and has completed its first projects, albeit on a small scale. With the increase in the unlicensed self-generation limit from 10MW to 100MW, this business is likely to see more prospects in the medium term.
The Group recorded a fair value profit adjustment of R102 million (FY2021 H1: R107 million) on its 50% shareholding in the Bombela Concession Company, that holds the concession for Gautrain.
The Group’s economic future is global and diverse, with strong prospects for meaningful growth. Murray & Roberts is well positioned to enable and optimise the capital investments that corporations, governments, and institutions will need to undertake to support sustainable human development, as the world emerges from the pandemic. The Group’s order book reflects these pressing global development needs, as well as significant opportunities in international markets.
The Group’s strategic efforts, especially over the past five years, are starting to bear fruit. Its large order book and financial results for this period, supports its confidence in a multi-year period of strong earnings growth.
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 interim financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2021 and should be read in conjunction with the full interim 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 is a leading engineering and contracting 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
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