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Woodbois sharply cuts debts, notes business resilience despite pandemic

The forestry and timber group also said its outlook “has never been more attractive” and that it expects to become cashflow positive and deliver record turnover in the coming year

Woodbois Limited - Woodbois sharply cuts debts, notes business resilience despite pandemic

Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI) has noted a sharp reduction in debt for 2020 as the group said its business had remained “resilient” despite the coronavirus (COIVD-19) pandemic.

In its results for the year ended December 31, the Africa-focused forestry and timber firm reported that its debt had been cut by 85% as part of a restructuring of its balance sheet, while also reporting an adjusted (EBITDA) loss for the period of US$1.7mln compared to a US$1.9mln loss in the prior year.

READ: Woodbois hails record output from Gabon facilities amid upswing in demand

Post-period, Woodbois said that from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, it had significantly expanded its sawn timber and veneer production by 83% and 44% respectively, adding that it has also launched a reforestation and carbon credit division.

Looking ahead, the company said it presents “a high growth proposition in an increasingly important sector” and that the outlook for the firm “has never been more attractive”. The group also said it is on track to become cashflow positive and deliver record turnover in the coming year.

“Despite the highly challenging market conditions during 2020, the business performed very credibly. At a company specific level, we were able to reset the balance sheet in August 2020 by converting the vast majority of our debt into equity. We subsequently dedicated our capex to maximizing returns from high margin production assets and built-out the operational team with a number of key hires towards the end of 2020/early 2021. This has enabled Woodbois to continue to further strengthen its operational and financial performance”, Woodbois executive chair and chief executive Paul Dolan said in a statement.

“I am pleased that Woodbois has entered 2021 with greatly improved production rates, strong pricing, a strengthened team, greatly reduced debt and a new division in reforestation and carbon credit trading. I have never been more optimistic about the future prospects for our company… We anticipate another record year, turning operationally cash flow positive and with frequent news flow”, he added.

Shares in Woodbois rose 1.5% to 7p in early trading on Thursday.

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Price: 4.521 GBX

Market Cap: £83.96 m

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