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Woodbois shares rise as it enjoys record first quarter

The group shipped a record 14 containers of timber and veneer in the opening three months of 2019 which helped revenue to grow 33% year-on-year
New kilns and sawmilling equipment should drive further growth throughout the rest of the year

Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI) kicked off 2019 with a record quarter.

The Africa-focused forestry and timber trading company shipped an all-time quarterly high of 114 containers of timber and veneer during the three months ended 31 March.

That translated into record revenue of US$4.5mln for the period, a third higher than the same quarter of 2018 (Q1 18: US$3.4mln).

READ: Woodbois raises £960k from Lombard Odier subscription

Growth is expected to pick up further as the year progresses, with new kilns scheduled to be installed in Gabon in the third quarter, closely followed by a new line of sawmilling equipment which should become operational before year end.

The new kilns will boost annual profits by US$700,000 as Woodbois won’t have to outsource this to third parties, while the new sawmill increases production and enhances recovery levels.

Away from operations, it has been a busy few months for the company, which sold off its agriculture business in Tanzania and acquired the remaining 25% stake in Montara Continental.

That was part of a move to double-down on the timber trading and production arm of the business, which bosses thought would help attract new investors and trade finance partners.

New investment

That turned out to be the case, with 1798 Volantis Fund, Lombard Odier Asset Management’s small cap team, which subscribed for US$6.5mln (£5mln) worth of shares and committed to providing a US$5mln loan.

“This is the first quarterly report to be delivered under the Woodbois banner and with great strides already made in 2019, it is one that I've greatly looked forward to issuing,” said chief executive Paul Dolan.

“Having bought out minority interests and restructured and completed the sale of our agriculture business in Tanzania, your management team now has the comparative luxury of focussing exclusively on the development of market-leading timber production and trading businesses.

Shares were up 2.1% to 7.14p in early deals on Tuesday.

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