Tropical timber and panels supplier Rougier says it has entered 2012 with “serenity” due to a stronger balance sheet and a 6.1% growth in annual sales.

In a trading update, the company said 2011 sales were up to €147.1m, while the fourth quarter saw a 2.7% rise to €41.1m.

Sawn timber sales (representing 52% of Rougier’s consolidated sales in 2011) were up 16.2% to €76.2m, while panels showed a 6.4% reverse to €33.4m.

The main Africa International division showed a turnover of €155.4m.

Europe remained the main sales region, showing 3.5% sales growth to €88.5m, followed by Asia (up 15.6% to €35.7m).

Demand in northern European markets was sustained and offset a contraction of southern European markets.

Rougier is continuing is strategy of geographic market diversification, with increasing sales in Asia and America.

Profits will be released in the company’s annual results, published on March 26. But Rougier warned that major adjustments in its production, logistics and commecial operations in Gabon would impact group operating profitability.