Johannesburg - Struggling construction firm Murray &
Roberts Holdings [JSE:MUR] said on Friday it would post a diluted headline full-year
loss of between 380 cents and 420 cents, and that it was making provision for
possible penalties from the Competition Commission.
But Murray & Roberts also said in a trading update that
it was positioned to return to profitability and growth in earnings despite
subdued construction markets in southern Africa and the Middle east.
Like its rivals, the company - South Africa's second-largest
construction group by market capitalisation - has been hurt by an industry-wide
slump as big projects tapered off after the 2010 Soccer World Cup. New chief
executive Henry Laas said in March his top priority was to improve the
The group said it was making "provision for Competition
Commission penalties for identified possible transgressions by former
subsidiary company executives on contracts".
The group's board also decided to account for charges and
contract completion costs in the earnings, including R1.15bn for construction
in the southern African region and added costs related to its work on the
high-speed Guatrain project.
Murray & Roberts expected to revert back to a net debt
position because of the funding required to complete the Gautrain project. Its
share price was down around 2.5%, compared to a 0.90% drop in the broad JSE All-share [JSE:J203] index.