Master Drilling has reported flat profits for 2018, a year that was more difficult than management had expected, but it maintained its annual dividend. The group, which is based in Fochville, Gauteng, is one of the world’s largest drilling companies, with a fleet of 149 raise bore machines and 30 slim line drills. Raise borers are used to develop vertical tunnels between underground working areas in mines or from the surface to underground areas. Master Drilling reported post-tax profit of $17.47m for the year to end-December, compared to $17.45m the previous year, despite a 14% increase in revenue to $139m. The company declared a dividend of R0.26 per share, the same as the year before. Net cash generation from its activities in South America, Africa, India and Europe dropped to $26m from $33m the year before.

“This is as a result of the worsening working capital cycle which came on the back of slower payment from debtors due to challenging global economic conditions,” said C...

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