Construction company Basil Read (BSR) is on the lookout for prospects in the rest of the continent as the local construction sector remains subdued.
In its interim result statement‚ the company said it expected the challenges to put pressure on its margins and liquidity position in the second half of the year‚ but that it was committed to maintaining a healthy order book.
“While we remain committed to the South African market‚ we are cautiously exploring opportunities across sub-Saharan Africa. With two sizeable contracts - the St Helena airport project and the Olifants River water resource development project - winding down in 2016‚ maintaining our order book is key.
“Equally important is ensuring our overhead cost base is continually aligned to our operating divisions‚” the company said.
In the six months to end June 2016‚ Basil Read said the value of its order book was R10.4bn which was “above target” but slightly lower that the prior year’s level of R10.7bn. Profit after tax fell to R34.4m from R41.6m while headline earnings per share increased to 48.92c from 37.13c in the year-earlier period.
In the first half of its financial year‚ Basil disposed of SprayPave at a loss of R33.8m. “With the closure of Matomo substantially complete‚ this concludes the sale or closure of noncore assets started as part of the restructuring in late 2014‚” the company said.
Other construction companies set to release results this week include Aveng (AEG) and Murray & Roberts (MUR).
At 4.40pm‚ Basil Read's share price was down 1.67% to R2.95‚ valuing the company at about R395m.