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Sep 05, 2007

WBHO sees shift to larger, long-lead projects

WBHO CEO Mike Wylie discusses the construction sector post-2010 (05/09/07)
Construction|Africa|Eskom|Gautrain|Gautrain Rapid Rail|PROJECT|Projects|rail|Roads|Transnet|Africa|Gautrain|Gautrain|Gautrain|Infrastructure
Construction|Africa|Eskom|Gautrain|Gautrain Rapid Rail|PROJECT|Projects|rail|Roads|Transnet|Africa|Gautrain|Gautrain|Gautrain|Infrastructure
© Reuse this Construction group WBHO Construction starts the 2008 financial year with an order book of R10,6-billion.

The company noted, at a presentation held in Sandton on Wednesday, that the nature of its order book had changed and was now characterised by a greater number of larger projects spread over longer time periods.

With a lot of the industry's attention currently being placed on completing projects before 2010 deadlines, CEO Mike Wylie commented that WBHO was confident that there would be sufficient work continuing post-2010. He noted that Transnet, Portnet and Eskom, for example, would be behind infrastructure development projects in the future.

In the build-up to South Africa hosting the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, the construction sector has been booming with the development of the stadia, the Gautrain rapid-rail project and all the associated development. The event has been hailed as a major catalyst for growth in the country.

The construction industry has been further boosted by government's infrastructure spend totalling over R400-billion.

The high profile projects WBHO is currently involved in include three FIFA World Cup stadiums - the Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane, Green Point stadium in Cape Town and King Senzangakhona stadium in Durban, and the King Shaka International Airport, also in Durban.

He added that an upcoming spend on the South African roads network would also take the company beyond 2010.

Wylie said that the group would look to confirm its post-2010 projects closer to the time, but that some projects it was already being considered for would continue beyond 2010.

Financial Results

WHBO reported adjusted headline earnings of R311-million which is up 59% from 2006's earnings of R195-million. This figure excludes the once-off expense of the share-based black economic-empowerment transaction which was completed in October last year.

The group boasted a turnover of R8,1-billion which reflects a 40% increase over the previous year's R5,8-billion. Attributable earnings were up by 39% for the year, to R318-million.

Headline earnings a share were 512,1c a share, compared with 351,7c a share in 2006.

Capital expenditure for the year amounted to R345-million, and some R376-million has been approved for the next financial year.

A final dividend of 85c a share has been declared and, together with the interim dividend of 36c a share, reflects a total dividend of 121c a share for the year.

Edited by: Liezel Hill
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
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