SA-based Master Drilling looks towards new markets as domestic growth slows

South African mining services firm Master Drilling has identified opportunities in new international markets after challenging conditions in its home market contributed to modest revenue growth in the first six months of the year.

The group reported a 3.8% increase in revenue to US$70 million in the six months to end June, although profit after tax fell 14.7% to $8.3 million and earnings per share decreased by 14.3% to 5.4 cents in the period.

Chief executive Daniel Pretorius said the macroeconomic environment in South Africa remained mixed in the first half of 2019 as market players and investors held back on investments ahead of the national elections in May.

“In the face of continued uncertainty and volatility…we have worked hard to position our existing businesses across regions, while stabilising new operations and growing our presence in new territories where we believe opportunities will arise, such as in Russia and Australia,” said Pretorius.

The drilling technology firm already operates in Africa, North and South America, Asia and Europe and is diversified across multiple commodities, with most of its tunnelling work associated with copper and gold, silver, lead, zinc and iron ore.

“At Master Drilling we continue to spearhead technological development, stabilise our global footprint and explore new business opportunities. As a result, the business remains stable and well positioned,” Pretorius added.