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Message from the CE

Dear Readers

CEOSomehow, the Olympics in Beijing this year have seemed out of reach. Is it because we are not doing so well as a nation? I am in Perth as I write this, attending the Clough board meetings and the mood here is very different. Newspapers and television are filled with Olympics reporting and all the human interest stories that go with winning and losing.

If we learn anything from the Beijing Olympics, it must be that the status quo is not relevant in a competitive world. How good we are against our competitors determines only the allocation of medals, but how much better we are than our past performance sets our standard for future competition.

For Murray & Roberts, every year is an Olympian challenge and this edition of Robust coincides with the release of our 2008 financial results, which are filled with new records and many medals. But there have also been poor performances and some failures, and those responsible have much work to do to get back into shape.

We now employ more than 45 000 people directly, who together with more than 45 000 subcontractor and other personnel worked a total of 216 million hours under our care during the year. We were successful in lowering our lost time injury frequency rate below our short term target of 3,0 in the year, but 24 of our people were fatally injured in the process. Eight of these were the consequence of the South Deep mining disaster.

Five (20%) of our twenty five operating companies did not deliver their budget promise in the year, for other than market reasons. One company ended the year in a loss. We have already initiated corrective actions and we expect better all-round performance in the year ahead.

Our record order book of R55 billion sets the challenge for sustainability in our constant pursuit of both gold and new performance records. This has set the regimen for preparation of our capability and capacity for profitable growth, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts but where each part must deliver its mandate to the whole.

Our non-negotiable commitment to sustainable earnings growth and value creation is through the team performance of Unitary Murray & Roberts.

Brian Bruce