• Poles production declined by 26%
  • Lumber production eased by 15%
  • New sawmilling machines are set for installation in June and December 2023

Harare- Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) - listed timber grower, Border Timbers is set to commission new sawmilling equipment in June 2023 to ramp up production and replace the old-ageing machines.

The development comes amid production slump across all its operations during the third quarter ended 31 March 2023 which ultimately dampened sales perfomance.

“Harvesting and sawmilling activities were below target, due to frequent breakdowns of our aged sawmilling equipment.

Recapitalization of the sawmills is on course with the installation of new sawmills at Charter and Sheba expected in June 2023 and December 2023 respectively,” said the Company in a trading update.

Poles production volume decreased by 26% to 5 282 from 7 108 while lumber production decreased by 15% to 27 574 from 32 487.

With deprived production volumes, lumber sales volume was 12% down compared to the comparative period in prior year.

“The reduction in sales volume was mainly because of lower production from the sawmills, which is expected to improve after the commissioning of the new sawmilling equipment,” said the Company.

The Company said demand for lumber remained strong in the local market and it continues to aggressively expand both the local and export market.

Poles sales volume was 29% lower than the comparative period mainly because of timing differences that are usually experienced in the acquisition of tenders, which is asymmetrical.

However, improved performance is anticipated in the Poles business due to expected demand for the product in Botswana, Zambia, and Malawi markets.

Going ahead, the Company said recapitalisation remains a key priority with its replanting program already on course to reduce the unplanted area to the industry standard of 5% in the next three years.

The Company is also expecting to unlock new value in European markets after Sheba, Imbeza, Sawerombi and Charter Estates were certified by FSC (Forest Steward Council).

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