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Julius Berger hopeful of sustainable growth on key reforms

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Julius Berger


Following improved performance in its financial position, amid restructuring, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, on Tuesday, expressed optimism that the firm is well positioned to increase shareholders’ value on a sustainable basis.Besides, the firm has commenced construction work on some of its on-going projects, which in turn, would put it on a consistent growth trajectory. 
      
As part of measures to consolidate its enhanced performance, the firm said it plans to approach the stock market to raise additional fresh fund to boost its working capital in the near future.
   
Speaking at Julius Berger’s investors’ forum in Lagos, the Managing Director, Wolfgang Goetsch, said the proactive readjustment of strategy introduced recently has progressively transformed it into a leaner, more flexible, competitive, and profitable corporation.He listed some of thes on-going projects to include: the Dangote Jetty in Apapa Lagos, the Port Harcourt Town Roads Rehabilitation, the central area of Abuja, including the B6/B12 Boulevard road system. Otheras are new awards such as  the Famfa Tower, a remarkable high-standard high-rise building project in Lagos, the strategic Bodo-Bonny Road, the contract award for phase 2 of the Okpai Power Plant and a host of many others,
        
For the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Road project, Goetsch explained that the firm has introduced an innovative methodology, whereby the milled pavement is recycled and improved for reuse, through a precisely metered process to produce a homogenous mix of bitumen-stabilised material used for paving the base layer of the road.  
   
Same technology will deployed for the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Road, shorter construction times are achieved, and resources are conserved with cost efficiencies realised at the end of the work.He said the construction sector is faced with myriad of challenges, especially in the areas of consistency in the ease of doing business in both private and public sectors, but added that Nigeria’s economy continues to ‘gain steam’ and reflect a positive progression amid daunting challenges.
   
“GDP is on the rise, inflation is lower, the price per barrel of crude oil is above the $45 budgetary benchmark and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s external reserves are recovering”. These factors amongst others have led the IMF to elevate its 2018 Nigeria growth forecast, to 2.1%, in line with the World Bank’s projection of 2.5%.
   
“As the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan has now been in place, we continue to eagerly anticipate sustainable growth, and we look forward to the tangible positive outcomes for the construction industry, and therefore for our company.”
   
For the year ended December 31, 2017, shareholders of the giant construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc are to receive N1.32billion as cash dividend for the 2017 business year.
   
This translates to N1 dividend for shareholders on every share they held in the construction giant.The audited report, released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showed that the operating profit halved from N16.79billion in 2016 to close 2017 at N8.69billion.
Profit after tax rose to N2.57billion in 2017 against loss after tax of N2.4billion in 2016. The group turnover rose marginally from N138.99billion in 2016 to N141.89billion in 2017.


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