Construction company Murray and Roberts Zimbabwe has recorded a 70 percent increase in turnover from $403.1 million in the six months to December 1997 to $685.9 million during the same period last year but attributable earnings only increased by 46 percent from $25.8 million to $37.6 million.
The company, however, says although the high interest and inflation rates had resulted in a general deterioration of business confidence and conditions, its order book remains sound.
The company says this, combined with continued success in securing regional business opportunities, should ensure that it achieves real growth for the year ending June.
It says it expects hard currency revenues to provide an increasing proportion of its revenue.
The company says it has acquired L & S Engineering to provide its clients with a one-stop turnkey solution to contracting. Equipment from L & S Engineering has enhanced the capacity of Genrec which it says has excellent regional potential.
The company has also established Reinforcing Steel Contractors which, with assistance from RSC South Africa has quickly established its position in the market and is well positioned for growth.
With the local market expected to tighten, the company says its contracting operations are increasing efforts to secure regional work opportunities.
The manufacturing divisions comprising Proplastics and Export Process Zone are reported to be trading ahead of budget and have increased their market share.
But one thing that is worth noting is that the company has a staggering non-interest bearing debt of $638.8 million up from $297.3 million last year and $401.5 million for the year ending June 1998.
It also paid interest of $3.1 million in the six months ending December 1998 against interest receivable of $3 million in 1997 and $2.7 million for the year ended June 1998.