Raubex warned shareholders its earnings per share for the six months to August 31 were expected to be much worse than it previously forecast. Photo: Supplied
Raubex warned shareholders its earnings per share for the six months to August 31 were expected to be much worse than it previously forecast. Photo: Supplied

Raubex interim earnings fall more than 130%

By Edward West Time of article published Oct 9, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Raubex, the listed infrastructure development and construction materials supply group, yesterday warned shareholders its earnings per share for the six months to August 31 were expected to be much worse than it previously forecast.

In a trading statement on July 30, the company said that it expected earnings and headline earnings per share to be at least 80percent lower than the corresponding period.

Yesterday, the company said that earnings and headline earnings per share were expected to be between 130 and 150percent lower than the corresponding period.

This would translate into a loss per share of between 19.4 and 32.3cents, and a headline loss per share of between 17.6 and 29.3cents.

The decrease was due mainly to the effects of the lockdowns, which in South Africa, saw Raubex’s operations only reach near normal levels of operation towards the end of July, after the lockdown started at the end of March.

However, all of its South African operations were now operational.

Internationally, in Western Australia, operations performed well during the period and were not materially impacted by Covid-19. In the rest of Africa, Botswana imposed a 48-day lockdown, which ended on May 20, during which time all operations in the country were suspended.

In Mozambique and Namibia, materials handling and crushing operations experienced cross-border logistical issues, which impacted production efficiencies. In Cameroon, operations were more severely affected by the pandemic including travel restrictions and quarantine periods that personnel were required to comply with both in South African and Cameroonian jurisdictions.

The company maintained a strong balance sheet during the period.

Cash and cash equivalents grew to an average daily balance of R1.5billion during August.

The cash balance had been supported by R138.1million received from the disposal of Raubex Property Investments concluded in the prior year.

Interest bearing debt amounted to R844.4m at August 31.

“Contract opportunities, which the company has tendered for in the South African construction sector, remain encouraging,” the directors said.

Raubex was recently awarded a significant R1.48bn contract from the SA National Roads Agency for the upgrade of the N3 from Dardanelles to Lynnfield Park, over a contract period of 45 months.

Directors said they were encouraged by the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission designating 18 Strategic Integrated Projects including 50 sub-projects.

“The company will be monitoring the development of these SIPs closely in the period ahead,” Raubex directors said.

Hopes that the construction of these projects will get off the ground were boosted last weekend when President Cyril Rapamphosa launched the first of these, the MooiKloof Mega Cty project, which will involve the building of potentially up to 50 000 affordable level apartments in the east of Pretoria. The lead developer on the project is Balwin Properties, which viewed the initiative as a diversification from its higher-income apartment developments, and Balwin’s share price rose sharply by 31percent from R3.08 on October 2, just prior to the launch, to R4.31 by midday yesterday.

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille said that at the launch the Strategic Integrated Projects now follow an expedited decision making route, and implementation would be prioritised.

Raubex’s share was up 0.2 percent to R19.50 yesterday morning, which despite a volatile year for the price, is close to where it traded at a year ago. The company’s share closed at R20.90 on the JSE yesterday.

BUSINESS REPORT

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