WBHO: 15,050 +450 (+3.08%)
Australia helps Wilson Bayly Holmes overcome S.Africa weakness
(Adds detail and background)
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 4 (Reuters) - South Africa's Wilson Bayly
Holmes (WBHO) reported a 14 percent jump in full-year
profit on Tuesday, as a favourable market in Australia and
growth in its roads and works division offset a fall in revenues
The construction and engineering company, which reported
profits of 1,414.6 cents per share, said revenue growth was
driven by Australia and the rest of Africa.
Revenue in Australia rose 18 percent, lifted by strong
growth in the building and infrastructure businesses.
While growth in Africa increased 32 percent, South Africa's
contribution fell 6 percent, with new road work contracts
providing some relief.
"The decrease in local revenue was primarily attributable to
lower activity within building markets and the knock-on effect
on the construction materials business," the company said.
South African construction companies have been hit hard in
recent years as stagnant growth has affected government public
infrastructure spending, prompting the company to seek
WBHO entered the UK market in 2017 after acquiring a 40
percent stake in Byrne Group.
In July, the firm - through its UK subsidiary WBHO UK - also
spent 600 million rand ($40 million) to acquire a 60 percent
stake in UK construction firm Russell Limited and a further 62
million rand for a 31 percent stake in property developer
"The construction market in the United Kingdom was
identified as offering the most potential at acceptable levels
of risk," the company said.
WBHO declared a final dividend of 325 cents per share, in
line with the same period in 2017.
(Reporting by Patricia Aruo; Editing by Louise Heavens and Mark
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