Revenue for the interim period decreased by 17% to R13.367 billion (2017: R16.111 billion), gross earnings plunged by 47% to R597 million (2017: R1.124 billion), operating loss soared to R484 million (2017: profit of R94 million), loss for the period attributable to equity-holders of the parent widened to R918 million (2017: loss of R347 million), while headline loss per share lowered to 6.1 cents per share (2017: headline loss of 62.2 cents per share).
A positive outlook for McConnell Dowell is supported by growing markets that will sustain robust demand for new infrastructure. The economies of Australia and New Zealand are expected to be strong and stable in 2019 and 2020 as a result of several large-scale infrastructure projects that are underway and strong demand in the road and rail transport infrastructure sectors along the east coast of Australia, driven largely by higher levels of public spending by the Australian government.
Against this background, McConnell Dowell will grow and diversify its order book in selected markets. The ECI status ensures that McConnell Dowell is well positioned to secure additional work in the near term. The business continues to focus on improving the consistency of its project execution.
Moolmans' immediate focus is on fully implementing the remedial actions of the Group-led turnaround intervention. Moolmans is also focused on optimising and extending contracts in its current portfolio to restore planned operational and financial performance.
Moolmans continues to pursue selected new opportunities in improving market conditions.
Grinaker-LTA has a limited order book and prospects for acquisition of new work in subdued operating conditions. Businesses earmarked for disposal within the operating group continue to be right-sized to achieve the financial objectives of potential new shareholders.
Based on a low GDP growth outlook for 2019, the manufacturing businesses are not forecast to grow significantly in the second half of the financial year.
Trident Steel continues to focus on sales optimisation and efficiency improvements to strengthen profitability. The business expects to benefit from sound prospects in the automotive market.
Management is focused on completing the majority of the non-core asset disposals by June 2019 and equipping the core businesses to execute the Group's longer-term strategy.
Change in directorate
* Ms Edinah Mandizha was appointed as Group Company Secretary effective from 13 September 2018.
* Ms Kholeka Mzondeki resigned as the Group Lead Independent Non-executive Director effective 24 December 2018.
* Ms May Hermanus was appointed as the Lead Independent Non-executive Director effective from 24 December 2018, and was appointed to the Audit and Risk Committee effective 20 February 2019.
* Mr Mike Kilbride was appointed as the Chairman of the Remuneration Committee effective 24 December 2018, and was appointed as a member of the Social, Ethics and Transformation Committee effective 22 February 2019.
* Mr Sean Flanagan was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from 1 February 2019.
* Mr Philip Hourquebie was appointed to the Safety, Health and Environment Committee effective 22 February 2019.