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MURRAY & ROBERTS ANNOUNCES INTERIM FINANCIAL RESULTS
Johannesburg, 3 March 2021 – Murray & Roberts today announced its interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2020.
· Results for the six months under review were negatively affected by prolonged COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
· Significant growth in order book:
o Record, quality order book of R60,5 billion (FY2020 H1: R50,8 billion)
o Significant near orders of R19,9 billion (FY2020 H1: R6,4 billion)
o Strong category 1 project pipeline of R94,7 billion (FY2020 H1: R70,5 billion). Circa R34 billion is on a sole-source basis
· Lost-time injury frequency rate (“LTIFR”) improved to 1.00 (FY2020 H1: 1.12). Regrettably, one fatal incident occurred
· Financial results:
o Revenue from continuing operations of R10,8 billion (FY2020 H1: R10,8 billion)
o Earnings before interest and tax from continuing operations of R117 million (FY2020 H1: R419 million)
o Attributable loss of R167 million (FY2020 H1: R163 million profit)
o Diluted continuing headline loss per share of 8 cents (FY2020 H1: 49 cents profit)
o Cash, net of debt, improved to R0,3 billion cash (FY2020 H1: R0,1 billion debt)
o Net asset value of R11 per share (FY2020 H1: R12 per share)
Significant Order Book Growth
The growth in the Group’s order book to R60,5 billion is due to the significant growth in the Energy, Resources & Infrastructure (“ERI”) platform’s order book. Since December 2018, when the ERI platform focused mainly on the liquified natural gas (“LNG”) sector in Australia, its order book has grown from R4,4 billion to R42,2 billion at the end of December 2020. This growth follows the award of several multi-billion Rand projects in the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors.
FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2020
Henry Laas, Murray & Roberts Group Chief Executive, comments: “During the past three years, the Group broadened its market focus to mitigate market cyclicality and subsequently renamed its business platforms to better reflect the market sectors in which they operate as specialist contractors. This decision contributed to significant order book growth for the ERI platform, which reported an all-time high order book. The Group expects the ERI platform to make a significant contribution to earnings in FY2022.”
Prolonged COVID-19 Impact
The business impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions that commenced in the second half of the previous financial year has continued into FY2021, although not at the same level as was experienced in FY2020 H2.
The Group has largely recovered from the initial and major COVID-19 restrictions impact in FY2020 H2 and is well positioned to operate successfully through this short to medium term uncertainty. The relevance of and the Group’s exposure to the natural resources, commodities, utilities, energy and infrastructure markets, and its significant order book, support the view of expected growth in Group earnings, especially after FY2021.
In terms of the results to 31 December 2020, it is important to note that the comparable prior six-month period (to 31 December 2019) ended before the outbreak of the pandemic.
Revenue from continuing operations was maintained at R10,8 billion (FY2020 H1: R10,8 billion). The Group reported earnings before interest and tax for continuing operations of R117 million (FY2020 H1: R419 million) and an attributable loss of R167 million (FY2020 H1: R163 million profit). The loss is ascribed to a prolonged COVID-19 restrictions impact, especially in the Mining platform, a disappointing result by the Power, Industrial & Water platform, as well as a lower fair value adjustment profit from the investment in the Bombela Concession Company.
A diluted continuing headline loss per share of 8 cents was recorded (FY2020 H1: 49 cents profit).
Cash, net of debt, improved to R0,3 billion cash (FY2020 H1: R0,1 billion debt).
The Group is pleased to report a record, quality order book of R60,5 billion (FY2020 H1: R50,8 billion). Although FY2021 is proving to be a challenging year for the Group, the current order book and near orders hold promising potential for a significant turnaround in FY2022.
On an annual basis, the board of directors of the Company (“Board”) considers a dividend post-year end. As a result of the significant growth in the Group’s order book and ongoing uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, the Board will prioritise retaining sufficient capacity to deliver the order book.
Energy, Resources & Infrastructure Platform
Revenue increased to R5,2 billion (FY2020 H1: R3,4 billion) and the platform recorded a break-even in earnings before interest and tax (FY2020 H1: break-even). The platform was successful in securing an increased and quality order book of R42,2 billion (FY2020 H1: R30,6 billion). The Group expects the platform to make a significant contribution to Group earnings in FY2022. The platform’s near orders increased to R5,0 billion (FY2020 H1: R0,1 billion).
Revenue and operating profit decreased to R5,1 billion (FY2020 H1: R6,2 billion) and R176 million (FY2020 H1: R353 million), respectively. The order book decreased marginally to R17,9 billion (FY2020 H1: R19,6 billion), but is supported by a strong project pipeline. Goldman Sachs recently released a report commenting that a recovery in commodity prices will be the beginning of a much longer structural bull market for commodities and according to JPMorgan Chase & Co, oil and other commodities have probably entered a new super cycle, as a post-pandemic economic rebound and swelling inflation spark expectations of rising demand. The platform’s near orders increased to R14,7 billion (FY2020 H1: R6,1 billion).
Power, Industrial & Water Platform
Revenue and order book decreased to R0,6 billion (FY2020 H1: R1,2 billion) and R0,4 billion (FY2020 H1: R0,6 billion), respectively. Given the platform’s low revenue base and losses on a near-completed project, the platform recorded an operating loss of R67 million (FY2020 H1: R19 million profit). The platform operates in sub-Saharan Africa, a region which currently presents limited large-scale project opportunity, with available opportunities being delayed. No projects of any significant value were secured during the period and opportunity for new project awards within the next six-month period is limited. The platform has near orders of R0,2 billion (FY2020 H1: R0,2 billion).
The Gautrain is operating with capacity restrictions and current ridership levels are significantly down. Demand is expected to remain subdued until all COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Current ridership is circa 11 000 passengers per day, compared to about 55 000 passengers per day prior to COVID-19 restrictions.
The estimated impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on the Group’s 50% investment in the Bombela Concession Company was accounted for in FY2020 H2. A business interruption claim for losses caused by an infectious disease and the related restrictions has been submitted to the insurers, which currently is under consideration. The impact, if any, of prolonged COVID-19 restrictions on this investment will be re-assessed during FY2021 H2.
A fair value adjustment profit of R107 million was reported for the period (FY2020 H1: R197 million). The FY2020 H1 result included proceeds from the settlement of various claims.
SHIFT IN GROUP’S CLASSIFICATION ON THE JSE
As from 22 March 2021, the Group’s classification on the JSE will move from Diversified Industrials to the Engineering and Contracting Services subsector, a new subsector to be introduced by FTSE Russell and the enhanced Industry Classification Benchmark. This new subsector will be more descriptive of the Group’s strategic positioning.
Considering the Group’s order book of R60,5 billion and near orders of R19,9 billion, it is well positioned for a return to profitability in FY2022 and to achieve meaningful earnings growth in the short to medium term.
The Group is confident that its growth plans are achievable and it has the necessary leadership, financial and resource capacity to support these plans.
*Please note that this media statement contains extracts from the full reviewed interim financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2020 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 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