Concor confident it will help build Coega smelter.

Posted On Tuesday, 18 February 2003 10:01 Published by Commercial Property News
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Construction firm Concor expects to be awarded work on the world's most advanced aluminium smelter if French firm Pechiney gives the green light for the plant to be built at Coega.

Cobus Bester Murray & Roberts A decision on the smelter project, which Concor expects will be positive, is likely within the next few months.

Although engineering and project facilitation group Bateman has already been signed up as the project manager, Concor CEO John Willmott explained yesterday that his company had been involved in many other regional smelter projects at Mozal in Mozambique and at the Richards Bay smelters, and was expecting to be awarded work on the project 'if it happens'. He explained that Concor's work at Coega would likely include the construction of the furnace.

Willmott was announcing Concor's results for the six months to December, which included a rise in revenue to R734m from R585m in the six months to December 2001, and a jump in headline earnings over the same period to 72c a share from 23,3c. Concor's order book has grown to R1,1bn from R800m a year ago and R600m the year before that.

'We are improving in efficiencies and gaining business,' Willmott said.

'We expect the growth to continue in the second half of the year, when we expect to do better.

'However, we have achieved our initial objectives of returning to profitability.'

He explained that he hoped to grow Concor's order book from R1,1bn to a target of R1,5bn in line with the company's level of annual turnover.

He said Concor was optimistic about the prospects for the domestic economy, and for investment in construction and in infrastructure. Already, Concor is involved in the construction of the port at Coega, in partnership with German construction firm Hochtief and various empowerment players.

'There is good news to come for construction with port expansion and airports,' he said.

Concor had been 'battered' on its building operations in Mozambique, and was shifting the focus there to civil engineering work. Meanwhile, its domestic roads and engineering operations had performed below target, but Willmott said concrete measures had been taken to tackle this problem.

On a more positive note, Willmott said, Concor was excited by the expansion in SA of coal, platinum and gold mining, and was expecting to boost its own operations as a result.

'As well as building plant at mines, we carry out surface and underground mining,' said Willmott. He said Concor's gearing was 41%, higher than he would wish for, following major capital expenditure in recent years. The target was to cut this to 35%.

Last modified on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 17:05

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