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Obtala revenues rise as Gabon sawmill operation ramps up

Sales in the six months to June were US$6.6mln, with a swing into a gross profit
Capacity is being increased in the Ivory Coast

Forestry and timber group Obtala Ltd (LON:OBT) posted a substantial rise in half year revenues as its Gabon-based sawmill ramped up production.

Sales in the six months to June were US$6.6mln (US$149,000) with a US$1.15mln swing to gross profits of US$347,000.

READ: Obtala looking to apply a veneer of success

The bottom line though was affected by ongoing problems in East Africa, where export bans have hit its operation in Mozambique.

A strategic review is underway in both Mozambique and Tanzania, with any loss-making businesses set to close.

Capital in these operations will be switched to Gabon and the timber trading business in the Ivory Coast, where a 17,000cubic metre capacity kiln drying operation is being installed.

Interim operating losses rose to US$4.8mln (US$4.4mln), which included one-off costs of US$2.7mln.

Obtala added revenues will grow in 2018 with sales in the first half already equal to 80% of 2017's total.

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