Construction survivor WBHO returns to profitability

BizNews portfolio laggard and sole listed-construction survivor WBHO announced its results for its half-year ended 31 December 2020. After a tumultuous start to 2020, the group managed to return to profitability with its Australian operations being a drag on performance. Earlier in the year, Australian regulatory authorities rejected the sale of Probuild, the Australian arm of the business, from a major construction and civil services company. The construction industry in South Africa, which has been dire since the euphoria of the 2010 Soccer World Cup boom ended, may be gaining some tailwinds. Finance minister Tito Mboweni announced a R340bn government infrastructure drive at last week’s budget speech, of which WBHO should be a direct beneficiary. – Justin Rowe-Roberts

WBHO SENS statement: 

Unaudited interim financial statements for the six months ended 31 December 2020

Financial statements

The Group’s operations in Africa and the United Kingdom once again produced solid results over the first six months of the financial year amidst a challenging environment. Despite further losses incurred within the infrastructure business in Australia, both the Australian building operations and the wider Group returned to profitability.

  • Revenue for the year decreased by 11% to R20bn (Dec 2019: R23bn)
  • Earnings per share decreased by 92% to 32 cents per share (Dec 2019: 412 cents per share)
  • Headline earnings per share decreased by 80% to 81 cents per share (Dec 2019: 411 cents per share)
  • No interim dividend has been declared for the period ending 31 December 2020 (Dec 2019: Nil cents per share)
  • The net asset value amounts to R5.6bn (Dec 2019: R6.3bn)

Cash dividend

In light of the continued losses incurred in Australia and the associated parent company funding required to support the Australian operations, the Board has elected not to declare a dividend in respect of the reporting period ended 31 December 2020.

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