Roy Cokayne

CONTRACTUAL difficulties that resulted in a high proportion of work remaining uncertified pushed listed construction group Basil Read into a loss in the six months to June.

The construction division was negatively affected by loss-making contracts in the roads and civil engineering divisions. The group has adopted an 18-month turnaround strategy, key components of which entail the critical evaluation of the various businesses and assets in the group into core and non-core categories.

It reported yesterday a headline loss a share of R1.4574 compared with headline earnings a share of 43.69c in the previous interim period, which had included the R183 million profit on disposal of the TWP Group.

Revenue from continuing operations rose 10 percent to R3.3 billion. It posted an operating loss of R295.5m compared with an operating profit of R80.2m in the prior period.

The group’s order book remained stable at R12.4bn compared with R12.5bn at year-end.

Interim chief executive Des Hughes said the first half had been challenging and overall performance was disappointing, characterised by the continued slow roll-out of infrastructure expenditure, endemic labour unrest, and a difficult contractual environment.

The shares climbed 1.67 percent to close at R6.10 yesterday.