Murray & Roberts Gains Most in 17 Months After Swing to Profit

Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd., South Africa’s biggest construction company by market value, gained the most in 17 months after returning to profit.

The stock advanced 5.9 percent, the largest one-day increase since March 16 last year to 25.30 rand by the close in Johannesburg. The volume of shares traded amounted to 50 percent of the three-month daily average.

Earnings per share will range from 2.35 rand to 2.55 rand for the year through June, compared with a year-earlier loss of 2.14 rand, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today.

South Africa’s construction industry is grappling with a slowing economy, with growth forecast by the central bank at 2 percent this year, the lowest rate since a 2009 recession. The Competition Commission fined about 18 builders, including Murray & Roberts, about 1.5 billion rand for collusion in contracts for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

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