Murray & Roberts hit hard by Covid-19 'perfect storm'

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Murray & Roberts says Covid-19 lockdowns have impacted its global portfolio of projects.
Murray & Roberts says Covid-19 lockdowns have impacted its global portfolio of projects.

Covid-19 has hit engineering and mining company Murray & Roberts [JSE:MUR] hard, creating a “perfect storm” that has cost it more than R800 million.

This comes as the group’s global portfolio of projects slowed down to Covid-19 lockdowns. Others were suspended.

In a trading update on Wednesday, Murray & Roberts said it had estimated the direct profit impact of the pandemic on its projects at R622 million. It also had to write down R80 million on a vendor loan relating the sale of engineering company Genrec, which Murray & Roberts has a stake in. Genrec went into business rescue earlier this year and will make a decision on its preferred bidder in October. Murray & Roberts also reported impairments of R109 million.

The group, which is due to publish its annual results next week, said it still has a quality order book of R54.2 billion and near orders of R11.4 billion.

“The group’s financial position is robust and sufficient to fund its growth plans and debt is within its targeted range,” it said in a statement. 

The group will focus on maintaining and growing its order book, improving project execution, reducing working capital, progressing digitisation and exiting the Middle East.

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