Murray & Roberts positioned for growth
28 February 2013
Johannesburg, 28 February 2013 - Murray & Roberts today announced its interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2012.
Group CE Henry Laas comments, "We are pleased to announce that Murray & Roberts has returned to profitability and has begun implementation of our Growth strategy, which will better position Murray & Roberts to sustain growth and profitability in the medium to long term with the aim of enhancing shareholder value."
The Group generated revenue of R16,3 billion (December 2011: R15,0 billion) and reported attributable earnings of R262 million (2011: R528 million attributable loss). Diluted earnings per share were 64 cents (December 2011: 161cents diluted loss per share) and diluted headline earnings per share were 69 cents (December 2011: 190 cents diluted headline loss per share). R500 million long-term debt was repaid in September 2012. At December 2012 the Group's net cash position was R1,1 billion (December 2011: R21 million net debt).
The Group also achieved a record low lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of 0.85 (December 2011: 1.04) for the first six months of the 2013 financial year. No fatality was recorded during the half year reporting period. "This exceptional performance was made possible by the continuous commitment to safety by all Murray & Roberts employees and subcontractors," continues Laas.
Pursuit of the Group's major project claims continued to progress, albeit slower than expected.
- The hearing for the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link arbitration regarding the dispute on the water ingress matter on the Rosebank Station to Park Station section of the tunnel commenced in September 2012 and will continue in March 2013. The hearing for the arbitration of the major delay and disruption claim against the Gauteng Provincial Government has been scheduled to commence in May 2014.
- Following a successful ruling on the principle of the design change claim of the Gorgon Pioneer Material Offloading Facility, the resulting arbitration process on the quantum of this claim has been further delayed. The arbitrator delivered an interim award on 19 December 2012 that the quantum should include all consequential losses incurred and the client is challenging this ruling in the Australian Supreme Court. The balance of these claims is only expected to be resolved during financial year 2014.
- According to legal advice on the UAE Supreme Court's ruling of 19 February 2013, the Dubai Government is the respondent to the claim and the arbitration panel has the jurisdiction to decide all matters referred to it for adjudication. The Dubai International Airport arbitration is expected to be concluded by December 2013.
On 29 January 2013 the Group announced the disposal of Union Carriage & Wagon Company to the CTE Consortium, a consortium including CTE Investments (Pty) Ltd and the Industrial Development Corporation. The disposal of the Steel Business is unconditional following approval received from the Competition Commission.
The Competition Commission engaged with various players in the construction industry on applications submitted through the 2011 Fast-Track process. The Group participated in this process but has not yet reached finality with the Commission regarding the potential penalty relating to historic anti-competitive practices.
"Murray & Roberts supports free and competitive trading in every jurisdiction in which we operate and has zero tolerance for any anti-competitive or corrupt behaviour. We are confident that any historical conduct of this nature within the Group has been rooted out," comments Laas.
"The Group's vision is to be a leading diversified engineering and construction Group in the global underground mining market and selected emerging markets in the natural resources and infrastructure sectors by 2020. These market sectors present the best future growth potential for the Group," Laas concluded.
*Please note that this media statement contains extracts from the full interim results announcement for the six months ended 31 December 2012 and should be read in conjunction with the full interim results announcement available on www.murrob.com.