Julius Berger reviews operations, eyes opportunities in other sectors

Julius Berger OfficeCONSTRUCTION blue chip company, Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, has said it is reviewing its operations to meet demands in infrastructure sector, pivotal to boosting the building industry and other sectors of the nation’s economy.

This came to the fore last week during the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Abuja.

According to the Managing Director of Julius Berger, Mr. Detliev Lubasch, the company has concluded plan to strengthen its operations as an engineering procurement and construction contractor for power and related projects with its presence in the power sector.

Lubasch, explained that this was part of the focus on strategies and goals for the immediate to mid-term future of the company.

The managing director added that, the company was well equipped to respond positively to the opportunities and challenges of its operating environment. In his response to a question by one of the shareholders, he said the company was not perturbed by incursion of competitors into the construction’ industry in the country.

Lubasch, stated that there was no threat to the company as far as premium contracts were concerned as the quality of work it delivers speaks for it.

He stressed that the construction company had been in the country for almost 50 years and had been delivering quality jobs ever since, hence there was no need to entertain any fear or threat of losing position or premium jobs to any competitor in the country.

Chairman of the company, Nurudeen Imam, said economic challenges led to ongoing delay in payments by major clients, especially in the public sector and resulting in negative cash flow issues and causing higher financial costs.

According to him, “To ensure financial viability, the management made tremendous efforts to reduce outstanding payments and strengthen cash flow. Swift measures were put in place and action taken to adjust operations to meet the actualities of the complex business environment.

Notwithstanding challenges, group turnover remained stable, with only a slight reduction from the previous year “Consequently, the Board of Directors is able to maintain dividends at the same level as the prior reporting year of N2.70 per ordinary share.

Approved bonus shares of one new ordinary share of every 10 existing ordinary shares already held were actualised in the 2014 financial year.

This resulted in an increased total gross dividend of pay out of N3.56 billion.’’ Imam further stated that Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and its subsidiaries continued to develop as means to support provision of integrated construction solutions.

He listed the works completed by the company in the year under review to include head office Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Abuja, Rose of Sharon building in Lagos, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway Section II, Phase II, Lagos, Abak River Bridge, Akwa Ibom, and Akwa Ibom Stadium complex. Others are Uyo Ring Road III, Phase I, Uyo, Warri Port Terminal C, Warri, Bush Clearing, Ogidigben Gas City, Escravos and GE Emerald Project Early Works, Calabar. He added that 12 works were on going while six were new.

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