Woodbois boosts turnover and profits in 2021

1 April 2022

African forestry and timber trading firm Woodbois Ltd has reported a 14% growth in turnover for 2021 to US$17.5m and a 186% rise in gross profit to US$3.5m.

In the audited results for the full year ended December 31, 2021, WoodBois said it has also recorded its first year of positive EBITDA of US$1m (2020: US$1.7m), as well as increasing its sawmill capacity in Gabon to 30,000m3 per year and acquiring 71,000ha of forestry concession land in Gabon.

“Increases in factory capacity and total forestry concession hectarage delivered during 2021 and into 2022 have positioned the Group for continued growth in revenues and profitability,” said executive chair Paul Dolan. “Further capital investment is planned to continue our expansion in 2023.

As well as the doubling of sawn timber output at the sawmill in Mouila, Gabon, value-adding capital projects have continued into 2022 with capacity at the veneer factory in Mouila expected to more than double to an annualised output of 15,000m3. 

Higher value-added product mix remains a key strategic objective with the next major capital project being the installation of a third, larger veneer line during 2023 to take veneer capacity to 30,000m3. 

The company said significant challenges, most notably the ability to receive machine parts by sea freight, have delayed completion of this installation, with full commissioning expected to be completed by June 2022. 

Woodbois said apart from currency volatility and an increase in fuel prices, the Group has not experienced any impact as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Due to some shipping companies reducing their level of service to Russian routes, the company believes that re-allocating of services to alternative routes will potentially benefit African exporters.

The company is more than 50% completed on its route to full FSC certification.

It plans to build its brand globally, with the sales team recently attending the Dubai WoodShow and it will be well represented in the US at the World of Wood convention in Orlando in April, plus the Eurobois convention in Lyon, France in June. 

“We are reluctant to predict the timing of any normalisation in the global shipping sector given our experience over the last two years,” said Mr Dolan.

“Our plans for 2022 therefore factor in on-going supply-chain disruption, with growth, although substantial, being at a slower rate than the Company's full potential might otherwise indicate. Whilst our first quarter 2022 was affected by continuing shipping challenges it was nonetheless ahead of 2021 so we are confident of meeting our planned growth.”