At a glance

Our vision is to be the leading construction company wherever we operate.

Building and civil engineering

WBHO’s building division is recognised as a leader in the South African building industry. Having established a reputation for quality, reliability and delivering against budget the division regularly exceeds client expectations. The division is able to negotiate a number of projects every year as a result. The Civil engineering division adds diversity to the division’s margin streams and strengthens the overall earnings.

Roads and earthworks

The Roads and earthworks division which operates across multiple traditional civil engineering disciplines, has through strategic acquisitions gained exposure to a number of additional specialist disciplines. The division has a particular strength when operating in Africa and has developed a successful formula for trading in the region. The division differentiates itself with its modern fleet of plant and effective teams who are encouraged to work together with consultants and clients to the mutual benefit of all parties.


WBHO entered the Australian market in 2001 after acquiring an initial 40% interest in Probuild Constructions. A decade later, with WBHO’s support, Probuild has developed into a tier one contractor having shown consistent yet controlled growth throughout the period. Key to the success of this relationship has been the similar nature of the values, culture and attitudes of management.

Other operations

The overriding purpose of WBHO’s Other operations is to expose the group to a range of diversified margin streams within the boundaries of the construction environment, in order to provide a stable earnings platform for the group’s shareholders. These markets include private public partnerships, concession arrangements and turnkey projects as well construction materials and property investments.

In 1970 John Wilson and Brian Holmes formed the construction company Wilson Holmes (Pty) Ltd, focused on civil and building work in Gauteng.

Thirteen years later Wilson Holmes merged with Peter Bayly Construction, a company engaged in civil construction, primarily in roads and earthworks. The company was renamed Wilson Bayly Holmes (Pty) Ltd (WBH). The fundamental structure of the group was formed with the Building and Civil division and Roads and Earthworks division.

At the start of the nineties WBH opened branches in Botswana and Mozambique concentrating on roads and earthworks. This was the beginning of the steady growth into the rest of Africa. Revenue broke through R250 million and in 1995 group revenue was over R500 million.

In 1996 WBH listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange through a reverse take-over of Ovcon Limited which gave the company a national footprint in RSA listed entity Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon Limited.

During the next decade WBHO acquired MacDonald’s Construction and Stocks Civils to expand its building, civil and roads and earthworks market in RSA. The company moved into Australia with a 40% investment in Probuild Constructions Australia (PCA), a Melbourne (Victoria) based building company. 33% of Capital Africa Steel was acquired, a company dealing in steel reinforcing products. WBHO achieved revenue in excess of R2 billion.

In 2006 WBHO increased its investment to 51% in PCA which had now expanded into Brisbane (Queensland), investing in Basic Constructions a civil construction company focused mainly on road building. WBHO bought 40% of C.E.C.K. in Perth Australia a company involved in maintenance in the civil engineering environment. Revenue passed the R5 billion mark and in 2008 WBHO celebrated a revenue over R10 billion.

In the next few years Insitu Pipelines and Roadspan a surfacing company were purchased to bolster the roads and earthworks division and in Western Australia C.E.C.K. and Carr were consolidated into WBHO Civil in order to increase capacity in the mining resource market.

In 2010 WBHO acquired Monaco Hickey (specializing in laboratory work) and Contexx (specialized high rise residential) through PCA to expand its markets in Victoria. The group also acquired Carr Construction based in the Pilbara Western Australia. These acquisitions and growth pushed revenue over R15 billion.

  2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Headline earnings per share (cents) 1 150,9 1 166,7 1 415,7 1 760,7 61 610,8 71 263,1 563,5
Dividend per share (cents) 368,0 352,0 330 330 300 242 121
Current ratio (times) 1,2 1,2 1,2 1,1 1,1 1,0
Debt/equity ratio (%) 3,4 1,9 1,7 4,8 15,7 19,9
Return on total assets (%) 8,7 10,7 13,5 14,9 13,9 10,7
Operating profit margin (before non-trading items) (%) 5,5 7,4 8,3 7,1 8,3 5,1
Market capitalisation (R’000) 8 203 140 7 225 680 7 656 000 7 009 200 7 293 000 6 821 100