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Severe losses relating to Group Five’s large gas and oil-fired power project in Ghana caused headline earnings per share for the six months to December 2017 to plummet 151%. The JSE-listed construction and engineering group also says delayed contracts and contracts not materialising due to tough market conditions and the cost of retrenchments had also played a part. Analysts were not available to comment on the losses, which follow years of dismal results that had diminished market interest in the country’s ailing construction sector. The group’s core operating loss jumped from an interim loss of R333.6m in 2016 to a loss of R727.3m in the latest half-year period. The latter was affected by losses of R649m realised on the $420m Kpone contract, which the company signed up for in late 2014. Group Five CEO Themba Mosai told Business Day they were “very difficult results”. He said the losses were higher than expected, owing to Kpone. Design delays and the late arrival of procured items ...

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