Border Timbers loses 193 000ha from fire outbreaks

BORDER Timbers Limited recorded a revenue growth of $21,9 million during the first half of the year ended June 30, the company has confirmed.

It said this reflected an increase in product output. During the period from January to June, Border had been characterised by liquidity challenges that continued to affect all sectors of Zimbabwe's economy.

Current account deficit occured at the timber company because the group suffered a loss of 193 000 hectares of planted area to fires and power outages.

"The Group lost 193 000 ha of planted area due to fires, the bulk of which are arson-related," Border said.

"The area demaged remains at levels which are much higher than that of the period prior to the land reform programme. Management has continued to engage the relavant authories with a view to addressing the cause of the fires."

It said power outages at the factory remained the "biggest challenge for the business unit".

"As previously recorded electricity consumption levels for Border Timbers Limited are at a level that makes diesel generated power uneconomic," the company said.

It said, however, the financial results under review were a reflection of a business which is in the midst of a rebuiling programme as witnessed by an increase in demand for poles.

It said there was also a firm market demand with the group continuing to maintain its position as the premium supplier of "kiln dried timber to the local market".

"Prices have in the export market recovered and the Group is geared to take advantage of this development. South Africa and Botswana have remained the Group's leading export market," Border said.

It said capital expenditure for the year amounted to $4,I million of which $2 million was in plantation development and balance of $2,1 million in plant and equipment.

"As the company has lost 193 000 ha of timber plantations due to fires at Sheba Estate and Charter Estate, salvage operations have commenced and the area lost will be replanted," Border said.

Border Timbers Limited is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. It has a current market capitalisation of $42 942 495 on the bouse with a share price of 44c per share.

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