Oil, gas slowdown mars M&R results

Murray & Roberts’ (M&R’s) order book decreased to R37.8-billion in the six months to December 31, compared with R44.9-billion as at December 2013.

The order book decrease was attributed to smaller and shorter-term contracts being undertaken by its Oil & Gas platform, as well as the fact that few new projects had been secured by its Infrastructure & Building and Energy & Industrial platforms.

However, the Underground Mining platform’s order book improved to R13.8-billion in the six months under review, compared with R9.5-billion in the prior comparable period.

Led by CEO Henry Laas, M&R had also secured orders of nearly R15-billion post period-end – R9.4-billion by the Underground Mining platform.

Meanwhile, the group’s diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) from continuing operations had increased by 39% to 79c in the six months under review, compared with diluted HEPS from continuing operations of 57c in the first half of the prior financial year.

Group revenue fell 15% year-on-year to R15.9-billion, mainly from a decline in revenue from the Oil & Gas platform to R6.8-billion from R9.6-billion in the six months to December 2013.