BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA
BORDER Timbers Limited (BTL) reported a 32% increase in revenue to ZWL$20,8 million in the nine months ended March 31, 2019 compared to ZWL$15,7 million in the prior year due to improved lumber sales.
In its latest trading update, the company’s judicial manager Peter Bailey said lumber sales volume were higher due to increased demand on the local and export markets.
However, lumber production was 2% lower compared to the same period in 2018 after it was affected by Cyclone Idai, which ravaged Chimanimani and Chipinge districts in mid-March.
“Lumber production is lower compared to same period in prior year due to low production in the months of December 2018 to March 2019 at one of our sawmills caused mainly by the general
power outages and Cyclone Idai effects that occurred on March 15, 2019,” Bailey said.
“The knock-on effect of the cyclone resulted in the Charter sawmill operating for only half of the month, thereby negatively affecting both production and sales into the market as the road infrastructure was decimated.”
The company posted a net profit-before-tax of ZWL$3,5 million, which was a 12% increase from ZWL$3,1 million achieved in the comparative period in 2018.
Treated poles sales volumes declined from 12 866 cubic metres to 10 866 cubic metres during the period.
Poles produced amounted to
9 688 cubic metres during the period under review, down from
12 715 cubic metres in the previous period.
“Treated poles reflect a decline in both production and sales as they are mostly tender-based and there has been a general slowdown in the export markets hence low production compared
to comparable period March 2018,” Bailey said.
He said the company’s exit from judicial management is being delayed by the settlement and sharing of the US$25 million that was awarded to the company by an International Court for
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal.
“As referred to in the trading update for the eight months to February, 2019, the company was awarded approximately US$25 million (in addition to interest plus legal costs) by an ICSID
tribunal. Although the award is final and binding, there is currently no clarity around the government’s timetable for settlement and how the award will be shared between the company and the other claimants,” Bailey said.