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Group Five's profit up 64%

Aug 15 2016 12:19

Construction gets a digital twist. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

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Johannesburg - The construction firm Group Five [JSE:GRF] reported a 64% rise in profits on Monday, helped by a strong showing at its toll roads business in Hungary and Poland.

Diluted headline earnings per share (EPS) rose to 335 cents in the year to end-June from 204 cents in the previous year.

Headline EPS is South Africa's main profit measure that strips out certain one-off and non-trading items.

The construction industry is struggling to pull itself out of a six-year slump as both the government and the private sector hold back on spending in an economy which is forecast to show little growth this year.

In response, Group Five - which still derives the bulk of its sales in southern Africa - has set its sights on cross-border projects including those in high-growth countries elsewhere in Africa.

"Alongside our South African focus, we have a clear geographic strategy of expanding into high-growth countries in the rest of Africa and Europe," chief executive Eric Vemer said in a statement.

The company's share price, which has dropped by about 70% from its high reached at the peak of the construction boom in 2009, was up 4.6% at R25 in earlier trade. By 12:14 it was trading 2.51% higher at R24.50.

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