A strong performance from Murray & Roberts’ (M&R’s) underground mining business was insufficient to offset lower contributions from its oil and gas, as well as its power and water platforms in the six months to December 31, 2018.
The JSE-listed company reported a 17% fall, to R9.8-billion, in revenue period on period, while diluted continuing headline earnings per share fell a by 2% to 54c.
Attributable earnings increased by 69% to R186-million, however, while the group’s order book rose to R31.7-billion, from the R30.1-billion backlog reported in December.
M&R’s underground mining-related order book increased to R25.7-billion, with CEO Henry Laas describing the market as “buoyant”.
“The oil and gas and power and water platforms continue to face challenging market conditions, with low levels of client investment and new projects experiencing delays and deferrals,” Laas said in a statement, adding that the global oil and gas market was showing definite signs of recovery.
The power and water platform, which had been preoccupied with Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile coal power station projects for several years, was expected to remain under earnings pressure, owing to a “lack of meaningful work” to replace the two megaprojects.
The platform’s scope of work on the Medupi power station had been completed, while work on the Kusile power station would continue into the 2020 financial year.