7 March 2007

Zimbabwe: M&R Secures Concrete Deals Despite Economy

Harare — CONSTRUCTION and industrial concern, Murray & Roberts (M&R) has secured orders worth $9 billion for the year 2007 despite the depression in the construction industry.

Morris Tsoka, the managing director of M&R said the company's order book is already full with no capacity to take new orders with just a few months gone into the new-year.

"Our current commitments are enough for the manpower we have. However, we will not turn away our existing clients. If you are our client and you need our service, we can always assist despite the fact that our order book for the year is full," Tsoka told guests during the presentation of the company's unaudited interim results for the six months ended December 31 2006.

Of the $9 billion, 60 percent of it would be earned as foreign currency with the local unit constituting the balance.

Despite the biting recession, M&R continues to find business in civils, which have contributed $1.5 billion to turnover, buildings $6.0 billion, and lastly telecommunications, with a contribution of $1.5 billion.

In February alone, the company secured a contract worth US$2.6 million and is also undertaking a project worth US$20 million in Harare.

In the half year to December 31 2006, M&R's revenue amounted to $11.6 billion, slightly higher than the comparative period of 2005, which was $11.5 billion (before revaluation).

The group recorded profit before tax of $360 million compared to a profit of $1.4 billion and $34 million at December 31 2005 and 30 June 2006 respectively.

The group said it will continue to pursue strategies to improve the availability of raw materials and to be proactive in the resuscitation of the country's infrastructure.

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