MURRAY & ROBERTS ANNOUNCES FULL YEAR FINANCIAL RESULTS
Johannesburg, 31 August 2022 – Murray & Roberts today announced its annual results for the year ended 30 June 2022.
Strong growth in revenue and earnings from continuing operations. Order book and near orders provide an unprecedented R120 billion market opportunity for the Group.
· Revenue from continuing operations R29,9 billion (FY2021: R21,9 billion)
· Earnings before interest and tax from continuing operations R705 million (FY2021: R540 million)
· Attributable earnings R135 million (FY2021: R180 million loss)
· Diluted continuing headline earnings per share 58 cents (FY2021: 16 cents)
· Quality order book maintained at R59,5 billion (FY2021: R60,7 billion)
· Significant growth in near orders to R60,4 billion (FY2021: R11,1 billion). Near orders include Inland Rail and Perdaman projects with a combined value of circa R40 billion
· Net debt of R1,1 billion (FY2021: R0,7 billion cash net of debt). Delivery of the order book and associated business growth required increased levels of working capital
· Lost-time injury frequency rate improved to 0.58 (FY2021: 0.90). No fatal incidents occurred
· Improved Group ESG score to 39.4 (FY2021: 31.5) compared with the average score for the industrials sector being 38.2.
FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2022
The Group is pleased to report strong growth in revenue and in earnings in the period under review, notwithstanding the continued impact on the business from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Specific areas of impact include disruption in supply chains, changes to project schedules, associated deferral of milestone payments and escalating inflation, resulting in difficult commercial environments. The Group is proactively managing these challenges.
Revenue from continuing operations increased to R29,9 billion (FY2021: R21,9 billion). The Group reported strong growth in earnings before interest and tax from continuing operations of R705 million (FY2021: R540 million). Market conditions impacted the Group’s profitability, resulting in a 2.4% operating margin, which is below the targeted range of between 3% to 5%.
Diluted continuing headline earnings per share increased to 58 cents (FY2021: 16 cents). Earnings attributable to ordinary shareholders increased to R135 million (FY2021: R180 million loss).
The Group is pleased with the continued strength of its order book at R59,5 billion (FY2021: R60,7 billion), and with near orders increasing significantly to R60,4 billion (FY2021: R11,1 billion), mainly attributable to the Inland Rail and Perdaman projects in the Energy, Resources & Infrastructure platform, with a combined value of circa R40 billion.
Delivery of the Group’s order book and the associated business growth increased the levels of working capital required. In addition, certain project milestone payments were delayed as the projects progressed slower than planned, due to the continuing disruption caused by the pandemic on supply chains. This, together with escalating inflation, negatively impacted cash generation during the year and the Group reported a net debt position of R1,1 billion (FY2021: R0,7 billion cash net of debt).
The Group is well progressed in addressing the increasing working capital levels to support its growth trajectory and is in the process of establishing longer term debt facilities. The potential disposal of its 50% non-strategic shareholding in the Bombela Concession Company, will make additional cash available to invest into strategic growth.
The effective tax rate reduced to 51% (FY2021: 73%). The high tax rate is mainly due to withholding taxes in foreign jurisdictions, as well as losses incurred in 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 revert to more acceptable levels in the medium term.
The board of directors of the Company (“Board”) considers a dividend on an annual basis. Dividends are subject to the Group’s financial position and market conditions. Considering the Group’s significant order book, its expected growth trajectory and future working capital requirements, the Board has resolved not to declare a dividend for the year under review.
ORDER BOOK, NEAR ORDERS AND PROJECT PIPELINE
The Group’s strong order book of R59,5 billion (FY2021: R60,7 billion) and its significant near orders of R60,4 billion (FY2021: R11,1 billion), includes high-profile, multi-year projects.
Energy, Resources & Infrastructure Platform
The platform, operating under the Clough brand, provides services to three main geographic regions: Asia-Pacific (“APAC”), North America (“NAM”) and Europe, Middle East & Africa. Its specialised capabilities across the engineering and construction project lifecycle enable the platform to deliver high-performing and sustainable assets for clients in the energy, resources, and infrastructure industries.
Revenue and operating profit respectively increased significantly to R17,3 billion (FY2021: R11,4 billion) and R406 million (FY2021: R227 million). The substantial order book was maintained at R37,2 billion (FY2021: R37,0 billion). Near orders increased significantly to R43,6 billion (FY2021: R1,1 billion), attributable to the inclusion of the Inland Rail and Perdaman projects. Securing these two large projects remain subject to financial close and the platform’s ability to provide the required bonding.
Several large projects in APAC and NAM are currently underway and although there are no loss-making projects in the portfolio, the impact from supply chain disruption and escalating inflation was most evident in this platform. The unprecedented challenges apparent in today’s commercial environment has placed increasing pressure on the Group’s working capital requirements, however, project plans and cash flows are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure potential risks are identified early.
In APAC, the platform continued to demonstrate its capabilities in transport infrastructure, emerging energies and power generation, transmission and storage. The resources market is expected to gain momentum in the near term, in step with the uptake of new and low emissions technologies. Australia’s exports of commodities central to these technologies — lithium, nickel, and copper — continue to surge, and the APAC region is expected to remain the largest contributor to the platform’s revenue and earnings for the foreseeable future.
In NAM, more specifically the United States, due to the continuing impacts of the 2015 record oil price crash (and subsequent price volatility), followed by the global pandemic and more recently geopolitical issues, it will take time for the Gulf Coast oil and gas market to fully recover. During the year, however, the acquisition of JJ White Inc. was successfully concluded and has extended the platform’s market penetration in the world’s most important developed market and diversified its project capabilities into the industrial maintenance and construction services sectors. JJ White has a solid order book and is expected to generate good returns while the Gulf Coast market recovers.
The platform’s order book and market prospects support the expectation of robust earnings growth over the next three years. Management is acutely aware of the working capital requirements associated with rapid growth and will remain focused on cash generation and management.
This multinational business platform comprises three regional businesses in Africa, the Americas and Australasia. The platform’s service offering spans the project lifecycle for a range of specialised mining project services, including feasibility studies, engineering, shaft construction, mine development, contract mining and material handling solutions.
Revenue increased to R11,8 billion (FY2021: R9,5 billion) and operating profit reduced marginally to R449 million (FY2021: R473 million), as the prior year included upside from the close-out of certain commercial matters. The order book reduced to R21,9 billion (FY2021: R23,2 billion), although near orders increased significantly to R14,9 billion (FY2021: R9,7 billion).
In Southern Africa, Murray & Roberts Cementation experienced a challenging year. Two material contracts were terminated by mutual agreement, affecting revenue and earnings. The residual order book value of these contracts was withdrawn from the order book, resulting in a reduction in order book value. However, as replacement work, the business was successful in securing a significant production mining contract, as well as a large shaft sinking and development contract.
While the pipeline of prospective projects remains robust in NAM, the order book was negatively impacted by the timing of investment decisions by major clients located in the region. The order book improved with the award of two significant projects late in the second half of the financial year, which is expected to positively impact earnings for FY2023.
In Australia, RUC Cementation Mining (“RUC”) delivered an exceptional performance, with revenue and earnings significantly higher than the prior year. The demand for vertical shaft sinking, drilling and mine construction has been steadily increasing in the Australian market and RUC has been successful in winning significant work in this sector. This region is expected to present the best growth potential.
This business competes globally with major mining services providers and is implementing a strategy to enhance its competitiveness. This includes in-house developed digital applications to improve efficiencies in mine operation, and a central asset company for the procurement, financing and management of capital equipment for the entire platform.
The platform is established in most of the world’s key growth areas for metals and minerals extraction and production. In the short term, it will benefit from investment driven by robust commodity prices and in the longer-term, by increasing demand for “future-facing” metals and minerals.
Power, Industrial & Water Platform
This sub-Saharan-focused platform provides complete project lifecycle services in the power generation, transmission & distribution, water, oil & gas, petrochemical and resources & industrial markets.
During the year, the business continued to face challenging market conditions due to a lack of investment in the region and the delay of project awards in South Africa’s renewable energy and transmission & distribution sectors. Increasing investment in utility scale renewable energy projects is expected to enable the platform to return to profitability in the near term.
Revenue was lower at R0,8 billion (FY2021: R1,0 billion) and the platform recorded a reduced operating loss of R155 million (FY2021: R175 million operating loss). The order book decreased to R0,4 billion (FY2021: R0,5 billion) and near orders increased significantly to R1,9 billion (FY2021: R0,3 billion).
Murray & Roberts Power & Energy continued to perform small packages of maintenance and outage works at the Medupi and Kusile power plants but reported low revenue due to limited opportunity for structural, mechanical, piping and electrical & instrumentation construction services. It is, however, actively engaging with Independent Power Producers that have been shortlisted for projects in the South African renewable energy sector and is confident that several work packages will be secured in the near term. The platform’s Wade Walker business will also benefit from electrical & instrumentation opportunities in the renewable energy sector.
South Africa’s constrained transmission and distribution infrastructure requires urgent investment to support additional capacity. This presents significant longer term potential for OptiPower Projects, given its specialised capability in high and medium voltage transmission and distribution lines, as well as substation infrastructure. Tendering activity for projects in this sector is increasing and new project awards are expected in the near term.
During the year, Murray & Roberts Water transferred its Organica wastewater treatment demonstration plant from eThekwini Municipality to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, to deliver water under a 10-year supply contract. This is significant as it will be the first commercialised application of the environmentally friendly Organica technology in South Africa. The eThekwini Municipality has embarked on a Public Private Partnership programme for two wastewater treatment plants and the platform’s water business will respond to the Request for Proposal, which is expected towards the end of 2022.
Wade Walker Solar, which services the commercial and industrial photovoltaic solar sector, has successfully completed several small projects during the year and is positioned to grow its current portfolio of projects in FY2023.
The Group recorded a fair value profit adjustment of R193 million (FY2021: R209 million) on its 50% shareholding in the Bombela Concession Company, that holds the concession for Gautrain.
The Group’s strategic efforts over the past five years are bearing fruit as demonstrated by its strong and consistent order book. Its order book, near orders and project pipeline underpin our expectation that the Group will continue its multi-year earnings growth trajectory. In the context of the current commercial environment, the Group’s operating margin is expected to improve as from FY2024.
Any forward-looking information contained in this announcement has not been reviewed 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 2022 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 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
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