M&R retreats into a loss amid R622m Covid-19 hit

M&R retreats into a loss amid R622m Covid-19 hit




Engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) estimates that the Covid-19 pandemic had a R622-million negative impact on its results for the 2020 financial year, during which the company retreated into a lossmaking position.

The JSE-listed group reported a loss before interest and tax of R17-million for the year to June 30, 2020, representing a sharp deterioration from the R847-million profit reported in the prior year.

M&R’s attributable loss was R352-million, down from a profit of R337-million in 2019, while its diluted continuing headline loss was 88c a share, compared with the 114c-a-share profit recorded in the previous financial year.

Revenue from continuing operations increased marginally to R20.8-billion, from R20.1-billion in 2019.

The M&R board decided not to declare a dividend, in order to preserve the group’s financial position amid ongoing pandemic-related uncertainty.

Besides the Covid-19 impact, the results were also negatively affected by several impairments, including an R80-million vendor-loan impairment relating to the sale of Genrec, now in business rescue, a R63-million goodwill impairment for two group companies and a R46-million impairment of uncertified revenue.

CEO Henry Laas said the combination of the pandemic, the impairments and disappointing execution on a few projects “created a perfect storm for the group”.

Expectations for economic recovery after Covid-19 were uncertain and revised frequently, he added in a statement released on Wednesday.

“However, the relevance of natural resources – of commodities, utilities, energy and infrastructure – to a post-pandemic world, and the group’s exposure to these markets, support our view of strong growth in group earnings, especially after the 2021 financial year.”

The value of M&R’s order book rose to  R54.2-billion from R46.8-billion and ongoing order-book growth was listed as a priority for the 2021 financial year


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