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Woodbois aims for cash-flow positivity after cutting losses

The African timber producer and trader increased revenues and cut losses in the first half

Woodbois Limited - African hardwood
Woodbois produces, processes and supplies sustainable hardwood products

Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI) increased gross profits 83% and cut total losses by a third in the first half of the year and says the next target is to become cash-flow positive.

The AIM-listed company, which produces, processes and supplies sustainable hardwood and hardwood products from its natural forest concessions in Gabon and Mozambique, grew revenue 41% to $9.3mln in the first six months of the year.

After simplifying its corporate structure in the previous year, including the sale of its agriculture business in Tanzania, the cost reduction programme embarked upon 12 months ago is now “largely complete”.

As a result, total losses shrank to $3.4mln from $5.5mln this time last year as gross profits jumped to $1.3mln from $0.7mln and admin expenses annualised 28% below last year’s.

The corporate structural changes, rapid growth and strong sustainability credentials attracted a £5mln investment from the 1798 Volantis Fund during the year, representing further investment from Lombard Odier, which now has a 25% stake in the group. 

Proving its sustainability credentials, Woodbois was placed seventh out of 97 companies on the SPOTT (Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit) timber producers table, an online platform created by the Zoological Society of London to assess commodity producers and traders on the public disclosure of their policies, operations and commitment to quality environmental, social and governance.

While maintaining a focus on quality and sustainability, the board said its next targets were for operations to become cash-flow positive. 

“Achieving this objective will require us to operate our production facilities with enhanced efficiency and at full capacity, to scale the trading business while optimising the deployment of all available trade finance and to continue to manage costs aggressively across the group.”

The group has also now started legal action against Envision to recover the amounts still due from the sale of the Tanzanian agriculture business. 

Quick facts: Woodbois Limited

Price: 2.6 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £37.2 m

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