Africa-focused forestry and agriculture group Obtala Limited (LON:OBT) expects July’s Woodbois acquisition to provide a major boost to forestry revenues going forward.
“The WoodBois acquisition provides a significant kicker to the step change in revenues that we expect to deliver in 2017,” said Miles Pelham, chairman.
“Trade Finance for our integrated trading arm will further accelerate revenue growth and is key to unlocking exponential growth within our timber trading business, as previously indicated we are actively seeking to get a suitable facility in place."
Obtala has restructured its operations and boardroom following the Woodbois acquisition.
The group’s forestry (Argento) and agriculture (Montara) businesses will have separate boards at company level with the forestry business to be split further into timber marketing and timber production.
At the group level, Martin Collins has been appointed deputy chairman and will replace chief operating officer Warren Deats, who has resigned. Carnel Geddes has been confirmed as chief financial officer and will sit on the boards of both subsidiaries.
Collins was acting head of new business at Obtala previously while Geddes has been interim CFO since July.
Revenues in the six months to June were US$149,000 (US$381,000) reflecting the closed timber season in Mozambique, where the forestry operation is based.
Pre-tax profits overall were US$22.7mln including gains from the Woodbois acquisition.Operating losses rose to US$3.8mln (US$2.5mln).
Pelham added the board was ‘highly confident’ the Woodbois acquisition would provide exceptional value.
Much of the company’s recent funding has come from Asia, he added, and the company is mulling a dual listing in China or Australia to further strengthen its links with investors in the region.