By ETimes

Border Timbers, which is under judicial management, on a date yet to be named will hold an extraordinary general meeting which will focus on the split of the International Court for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) award and appointment of new board directors.

The company is in the business of growing, milling and manufacturing timber from managed plantations. It is a subsidiary of the Rift Valley Corporation. Formally established in 2012, Rift Valley Corporation is a leading agro-forestry business in Zimbabwe.

Border Timbers has been under judicial management since March 2016 after it failed to service debts to several financial institutions worth $20 million.

In November 2018, the company voluntarily suspended trading on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
Of late, issued a cautionary notice informing shareholders about the need to be aware of the international arbitration proceedings between the company, other private parties and the Government, at the ICSID since 2010 in respect of the compulsory acquisition of its land.

According to Border Timbers, an award was issued in its favour in 2015, but the government subsequently filed an application to annul the award.

The company’s exit from judicial management has been delayed by the settlement and sharing of the US$25 million that was awarded to the company by an ICSID tribunal.

“An EGM is to be arranged shortly to approve the split of the ICSID award and to appoint the new Board of Directors to allow the judicial manager to step down,” said the company’s Judicial Manager Peter Lewis Bailey in a trading update.

The company has been cautiously optimistic about the current financial year with focus being placed at replacing some of the obsolete equipment, which is expected to improve efficiency.

For the first quarter ended 30 September 2021, the company’s production volume rose 15% to 15,723 cubic meters from 13,668 cubic meters in the comparative period last year. Lumber volumes improved to 11,578 cubic meters from 11,539 cubic meters in the same period last year. Poles-Transmission volumes nearly doubled to 4,145 cubic meters.

Sales volumes climbed 4.21% to 17,411 cubic meters from 16,707 cubic meters in Q1 2020. Lumber sales volumes were down 12.34% from 13,933 cubic meters in Q1 2020 to 12,213 cubic meters. Pole-transmission sales volumes increased to 5,198 cubic meters from 2,775 cubic meters.

“Lumber production is broadly in line with prior year and demand for Lumber remains very high both in the local market and the export market,” he said.

“Treated poles reflect an increase in production and sales volume compared to prior year, this is owing to new marketing initiatives by the company which have seen market development within the region as well as the fading away of the adverse impacts of Covid-19 which has a significant effect on the pole business.”

Inflation adjusted revenue surged 47.53% to ZWL$462.01 million from ZWL$313.14 million in Q1 2020. In the same vein, it recorded an inflation adjusted profit of ZWL$101.2 million.

The company continues to focus on strengthening its balance sheet and profitability by improving its biological assets and the related value chains, he added.

Border Timbers, the largest kiln dried lumber in Zimbabwe is an established Zimbabwean forest company with three operational divisions -forestry, saw-milling and manufacturing – with 20 002 ha under plantation across five estates in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands – Harare

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