Multinational engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) on Wednesday reported a 56% year-on-year increase in diluted continuing headline earnings per share to 112c for the financial year ended June 30, compared with 72c in the prior financial year.
Revenue from continuing operations increased by 2% year-on-year to R21.8-billion, while attributable earnings increased by 456% year-on-year to R267-million.
The group's order book for continuing operations increased by 12% year-on-year to R30.1-billion.
Its Underground Mining platform, which is the largest contributor to group earnings, achieved good results with a strong order book of R22.1-billion, compared with R17.5-billion a year before.
The platform's revenue remained flat at R8-billion, but operating profit increased to R471-million as an "excellent" performance by Cementation Africa was offset by a decline in margins in Australasia as a result of the nonextension of a contract on a major project.
M&R's Oil & Gas platform, meanwhile, secured significant projects in complementary markets in Australia and Mongolia, growing its order book to R6.4-billion, from R5.2-billion in the 2017 financial year.
The platform's revenue increased to R8.5-billion for the financial year under review, but operating profit decreased to R209-million, from R217-million the year before, as a competitive market put pressure on margins.
M&R increased its gross annual dividend to 50c a share.
Looking ahead, the group believes its growth plans for the next three-year planning period are achievable.
"With a well-refined business model and strategy, and a focused portfolio of quality business assets, the group is committed to drive sustainable growth and earnings improvement. The group's robust financial position provides the capacity to support its growth plans," it stated.