The company reports sales down 8.5% to July at €79.3m. The second quarter was stronger, but revenue was still below the same period last year.

Rougier said its French import and distribution business had grown thanks to improved product range and customer diversification.

Its Afrique International business had also enjoyed strong demand for plywood and veneer.

However, the latter also experienced a “volatile market environment”, with Cameroon and Congo sawn timber operations hit by weaker Asian demand, fluctuating conditions in the Middle East and North Africa and weaker prices for certain species.

In the second half the company expects improved trading, with the bottom line also boosted by sale of ‘non-strategic real estate assets’, cost reduction and better productivity.

Rougier is also starting up operations at its new Central African Republic concession, which will work closely with its Cameroon and Congo businesses.