Slowdown in Mozambique hits Concor

Posted On Tuesday, 23 September 2003 02:00 Published by Commercial Property News
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Construction group is pinning its hopes on Coega and similar developments

Cobus Bester Murray & Roberts Construction group Concor expressed disappointment yesterday at its performance in the year to June, blaming a slowdown in business in Mozambique and rand-linked delays in mining projects in SA for its failure to shine.

However, the group was involved in the Coega construction project, and was hoping that its earnings would shoot up in future if more state projects on the same scale were forthcoming.

Concor CEO John Willmott said while there was a rise in earnings from R1,3bn to R1,4bn, margins were "relatively flat and in some cases disappointing".

Headline earnings a share rose to 156,9c from 118,9c in 2002, and the year-end dividend was maintained at 30c a share.

Willmott said the group's financial performance owed a lot to "dramatic" improvements in cash management, and to the continuing programme of turning the company around.

Willmott said the order book stood at R1bn, up from R800m a year ago.

"It would be higher, but the mining houses and export-related clients have put new capital expenditure on hold, with delays of six to 12 months in those type of projects.

"The mining industry's spending on new capital projects is down by at least 50%."

Concor planned to tender for the R500m Berg River Dam in Cape Town, and was in a consortium working on an unsolicited bid to upgrade the N1 and N2 roads out of Cape Town.

Concor's earnings were hit by the lack of profit in its Mozambique portfolio of projects. These were being scaled down. There was also a loss of about R10m on a road project in Botswana.

Concor's activity outside SA declined from 20% of the total to 16% in 2003, but Willmott said this was partly due to the strong rand. He said it was not a serious concern as he was hoping for the government to deliver on pledges to boost infrastructure spending.

Last modified on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 17:03
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