Optimistic Raubex declares interim dividend


Optimistic Raubex declares interim dividend


Published Date: 2020-11-10 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Optimistic Raubex declares interim dividend

After holding back on a final dividend last year, the group has gained confidence due to higher cash balances and a growing order book.

Raubex has increased its interim dividend despite swinging to a first-half loss. It generated a lot more cash from its operations and says it is also positive about new contracts it's recently won.

The construction and road-building group reported a decline in turnover as Covid-19 lockdowns affected its operations in a number of countries. All its SA businesses other than those providing essential services were closed until 1 May but were back at near normal levels of operation towards the end of July. Internationally, its Western Australian operations weren't materially impacted by Covid-19. In Botswana, all operations were suspended for the 48-day lockdown which ended on 20 May, while Mozambique and Namibia were affected by cross-border logistical issues. Its operations in Cameroon were more severely impacted.

Revenue for the six months to end-August came in 10.5% down at R3.94 billion and operating profit decreased by 90% to R21.7 million. It swung to a loss of 25.2c per share from earnings of 64.6c last year and a headline loss of 26.6c per share from headline earnings of 58.6c previously. The company generated R715 million in cash from its operations, up 72% from last year, and increased its interim dividend by 9.1% to 24c per share. It didn't declare a final dividend for the year to end-February due to the uncertainty created by the pandemic.

Raubex said it was well positioned to participate in the Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) announced by the government this year as well as the roll out of projects in the renewable energy sector. Meanwhile, it recently secured a R1.48 billion contract with the SA National Roads Agency (SANRAL) to upgrade a section of the N3 highway from Dardanelles to Lynfield Park in KwaZulu-Natal.

After starting the period with an order book of R10.2 billion after completing rightsizing initiatives, its secured order book rose to R11.7 billion by the end of August, up 30% from a year earlier, with 9.6% consisting of contracts outside of South Africa in the rest of Africa and Western Australia. Local contract opportunities which had been tendered on were significant and it said it would be looking to participate in these projects from both a construction and materials supply perspective.

Raubex's shares gained 1.5% to R20.52 yesterday.


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