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Woodbois says it is to recommence operations in Gabon

Despite falls in activity over April and May, the timber group said in the last two weeks enquiries and demand levels had started to return

Woodbois Limited - Woodbois to recommence operations in Gabon

Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI) has said it is planning to recommence limited production at its Mouila sawmill and veneer factory in Gabon on June 15.

In an operations update, the Africa-focused timber group said while activity in the sector had fallen dramatically in April and remained at low levels for most of May, in the last two weeks enquiries and demand levels had started to return, particularly from Asia and the Middle East.

READ: Woodbois reports surge in full-year revenues as losses fall by half

As a result, Woodbois said it had a “solid order book in place” and planned to return to full production in Gabon as soon as coronavirus pandemic restrictions were fully lifted in the country.

"The effects of [coronavirus] are widespread and continuing, but I am pleased to report that trading enquiries are increasing as the global economy emerges from lockdown”, Woodbois chief executive and chairman, Paul Dolan said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the company said it was in “active discussions” with key lenders regarding the possibility of restructuring its debts.

“We continue to focus on cash generation and preservation and to that end we are in discussions with our lenders, including the holders of the company's unlisted debt instruments, with a view to restructuring them and thereby significantly strengthening the company's financial position.  Based on the indications of support received I am hopeful that agreement will be reached for the benefit of all stakeholders”, Dolan said.

The group also noted that Zahid Abbas and Jacob Hansen had stepped down from their executive positions on the company’s main board with immediate effect but will remain as head of trading and chief operating officer, respectively.

Woodbois said it is also seeking an additional independent non-executive director with a “complementary skillset” to that already found on its board.

In a separate announcement, the firm also said it has appointed Canaccord Genuity as its Nominated Adviser and Sole Broker with immediate effect.

Quick facts: Woodbois Limited

Price: 2.55 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £36.48 m

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