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Woodbois surges as it chops down losses in 2018

The group, previously known as Obtala, reported pre-tax losses of US$5.6mln for 2018, smaller than the US$7.3mln loss the year before, while revenues jumped to US$13.4mln from US$7.9mln
Wood truck
The company's business focuses on delivering hardwood from West Africa to global customers

Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI) shares surged on Monday after it cut losses in its latest full year and aimed to add “significant scale” to its business in 2019.

The group, which was previously known as Obtala, reported pre-tax losses of US$5.6mln for 2018, smaller than the US$7.3mln loss the year before, while revenues jumped to US$13.4mln from US$7.9mln. Gross profits had also increased to US$2.1mln from US$453,000 in 2017.

READ: Woodbois shares rise as it enjoys record first quarter

The results follow a period of restructuring and rebranding for the firm, which opted to change its name from Obtala after selling its agricultural assets in Tanzania for around US$2.5mln in order to focus on its timber businesses.

Looking ahead, Woodbois’ chairman Miles Pelham said the company had secured US$10mln in trade finance loans since the start of 2019, which represented a “major milestone” for the firm and would allow its trading team to add “significant scale” to their business over the coming year.

“In line with the rapid growth of urban populations across Sub-Saharan Africa, we will seek to develop our intra-African trading and supply chains, as well as expanding the established Woodbois business of supplying sustainable African hardwood and hardwood products to clients around the globe”, Pelham added.

The company has also begun the new fiscal year on a solid financial footing, having previously reported a record first quarter in the first three months of 2019.

The bullish outlook gave renewed strength to the shares, which were up 11.6% at 7p in late-afternoon trading.

In a separate announcement, the company also said it had appointed Henry Turcan to the board as a non-executive director and representative of the group’s largest shareholder, Lombard Odier Investments.

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