Raubex Seeks Contracts in Sub-Saharan Africa to Boost Margins

Raubex Group Ltd., a South African road builder, is seeking contracts in sub-Saharan Africa to offset weaker margins in its home market, Chief Executive Officer Rudolf Fourie said.

The company is bidding for contracts in Zambia and Botswana worth as much as 3 billion rand ($329.8 million), Fourie said in a phone interview today from Johannesburg. South African contracts accounted for 94 percent of revenue in the company’s most recent fiscal year, he said.

Raubex headline earnings per share declined 10.4 percent to 158.7 cents for the 12 months through February, the company said in a statement today. Revenue rose 12 percent to 5.64 billion rand, while the order book increased to 5.2 billion rand from 4.6 billion rand.

The shares rose 1.1 percent to 19.30 rand a share by 11:14 a.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 3.56 billion rand. The stock has gained 15 percent this year, compared with a 0.1 percent decline in the 5-member FTSE/JSE Africa Construction and Building Materials Index.

Raubex has made a provision to pay a 58.8 million rand fine as part of a regulatory probe into price-fixing and collusion in the South African construction industry, the company said. Eighteen companies have admitted to the practice, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on May 7.

Raubex said last month it would pay 120 million rand to buy construction supplier Tosas Holdings from Sasol Oil Pty Ltd. The company hopes to add two more acquisitions by the end of fiscal year 2013-2014, Fourie said.

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