Tuesday, 28 August 2007 02:00

WBHO full year HEPS up

Construction group Wilson Bayly Holmes Ovcom (WBHO) on Monday reported 512.1 cents in headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year ended June compared with 351.7 cents a year ago.

Construction IndustryA final dividend of 85 cents per share (2006: 54 cents) has been declared which, together with the interim dividend of 36 cents per share, gives a total dividend of 121 cents for the year - up from 81 cents a year ago.

Revenue rose 40.3% to 8.1 billion rand and operating profit surged 58.6% to 415.8 million rand.

The group's building and civil division, which plays a major role in preparing the country for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, increased turnover by 31% from 4.4 billion rand to 5.7 billion rand in 2007. Operating profit increased by 47% to 222 million rand.

"We are partners in joint ventures which have been awarded contracts for the construction of the King Shaka International Airport, as well as the soccer stadia in Durban, Cape Town and Polokwane. Because of the early stages of these contracts no profits have been recognised in these accounts," the company said.

In addition, the group is engaged in major works at OR Tambo International Airport as well as the construction of shopping centres, office and apartment blocks and hospitals throughout the country.

It has recently been awarded in joint venture the One and Only Hotel in the Cape Town Waterfront.

However, in Australia, turnover has been relatively flat compared to 2006, but Probuild Constructions nevertheless increased profits by 11%, the company noted.

"There are indications that the market is improving in Melbourne and the order book is at a reasonable level," the group said.

Basic Constructions, the group's cvil engineering company in Brisbane, experienced a busy year with turnover increasing by 22%.

"Our activities in Sydney also showed significant growth and we have strengthened our foothold in this large but competitive market," the company said.

The road and earth works division's turnover of 1.9 billion rand was 61% higher than last year. Operating profit increased by 7% from 71 million rand to 76 million rand but with margins declining from 6.1% to 4%.

"Work for the mining sector has increased, providing good opportunities for additional work for the division. The division is also contracting in the DRC, Ghana, Zambia and other SADC countries," the group said.

Looking ahead, the group said its outlook for the construction industry remained positive with prospects for new work more likely to arise in the civil engineering sector than in the building sector.

"We believe we are well placed to benefit from this shift in the industry," the group said.

The company is starting the 2008 financial year with an order book of 10.6 billion rand ? from 6.1 billion rand last year.

"The nature of our order book has changed with a greater number of large contracts spread over longer time periods," the group said.

 

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