M&R expects significant improvement in interim HEPS

20 February 2019

JSE-listed engineering group Murray & Roberts (M&R) expects a
significant improvement in total earnings per share (EPS) and headline earnings
per share (HEPS) for the six months ended December 31.

Basic EPS for the period are expected to increase
by between 57% and 75% year-on-year to between 44c and 49c, while basic HEPS
are expected to increase by between 54% and 71% year-on-year to between 43c and

The group noted that the improvement is
predominantly the result of a smaller loss in discontinued operations.

M&R reported
this week that the Underground Mining platform was
operating in a “buoyant market” and was well positioned to achieve strong
growth over the next few years.

Its financial performance
is exceeding management’s expectations.

“Current projects include
18 vertical shaft sinking and equipping projects, 21 decline
shaft and mine development projects, eight production mining projects and 13
support and construction services projects.”

The Oil & Gas and Power & Water platforms,
however, continue to face challenging market conditions, with low levels of
investment and new projects plagued
by delays and deferrals, the group noted.

This set of circumstances is expected to have a
considerable negative impact on full-year revenue and earnings.

Opportunities in the Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) market remain

M&R is targeting
potential LNG projects in AustraliaCanadaMozambique and Papua New Guinea, and is
continuing to pursue opportunities in complementary growth markets, such as
the metal and minerals and infrastructure markets
in Australia.

The platform’s scope of work on the Medupi power station has been
completed and its work on the Kusile power station will continue
into the 2020 financial year.

“For several years, [the platform’s] earnings were
underpinned by the contribution from these two projects. The lack of
meaningful replacement work for Medupi and Kusile will be reflected in reduced
platform earnings.”

ATON’s mandatory offer to acquire all of the issued
ordinary shares of M&R not
already owned by it remains subject to certain conditions, specifically receipt
of regulatory approvals in South Africa and a
number of other jurisdictions, the group stated.

The long stop date for the Mandatory Offer is March
31 – a date which may be extended by ATON.

In the event of ATON announcing that the mandatory
offer has become unconditional in all respects prior to the long stop
date, M&R shareholders
will still have ten business days from
the date of such announcement to accept the offer, should they choose to do so.

In the event that the offer does not become
unconditional prior to the long-stop date and ATON electing not to extend the
long-stop date, the offer will terminate in accordance with its terms.

Shareholders are reminded that ATON’s cash offer
price of R17 per M&R ordinary
share remains below the independent board’s view of a fair value price range of
between R20 and R22 a share.

M&R’s interim results will be released on or about March 6.

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