EANS-Adhoc: Precious Woods Holding Ltd / Effective turnaround creates positive basis for 2012

Geschrieben am 26-04-2012

ad-hoc disclosure transmitted by euro adhoc with the aim of a Europe-wide
distribution. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this

annual report/Sustainable Forestmanagement


- Operating result (EBITDA) substantially improved to USD -2.1 million
- Turnaround measures are taking effect and will have a positive impact on
2012 results
- Harvestable forest area in Brazil increased by 105 000 hectares to 300
000 hectares
- Hardwood sawmill for "bois divers" at Precious Woods Gabon expanded
- Debt reduced and bank loans repaid thanks to partial divestment of
Precious Woods Central America

Zug/Zurich, 26 April 2012 - As the turnaround strategy nears
completion, the Precious Woods Group looks to the future with
confidence. The measures to improve productivity and the market
position are taking effect. Despite logistical problems caused by
external factors, business prospects in Gabon remain intact. In
Brazil, major issues from the past have been resolved. The Group
reviewed its sales strategy at the end of 2011 and decided to
centralize the sales organization in Switzerland from the beginning
of 2012. The Precious Woods Group achieved sales of around USD 69
million in the year under review. On a comparable basis - i.e.
without Precious Woods Central America (PWCA), which has been
classified as a "discontinued operation" following the partial
divestment - this figure is almost in line with the previous year's
level. At USD -2.1 million in 2011, the operating result (EBITDA) is
within the range communicated in November 2011. Compared to the
previous year (on a like-for-like basis), this equates to an
improvement of USD 7.7 million. At USD -41.5 million, total results
from continuing operations improved substantially, by USD 30.2
million year-on-year, despite the net negative impact of USD -14.5
million resulting from the partial divestment of PWCA and its
consequent treatment as a discontinued operation. In summary, the
2011 reporting year saw major steps towards economic sustainability.
In 2012, Precious Woods looks set to post positive EBITDA for the
first time in a considerable period. Precious Woods Holding Ltd:
central sales organization and maintaining liquidity At the end of
2011, a centrally managed sales organization out of Switzerland was
established, which became operational at the beginning of 2012. This
move will optimize the product and client portfolio, improve margins
and increase market shares in the emerging markets. These activities
will have a positive impact on the Group from the second half of
2012. The partial divestment of Precious Woods Central America
enabled all bank debt at holding level as well as shareholder loans
totalling EUR 5 million to be repaid. New shareholder loans amounting
to USD 11 million will further secure liquidity.

Precious Woods Gabon: significant contribution to business
development The expansion of production capacity at the "bois divers"
sawmill in July 2011 established the basis for future growth. At the
same time efforts are being made to extend the concession basis.
Optimization work at the new sawmill, inventory adjustments and
logistical challenges created by external factors such as capacity
bottlenecks in the Port of Libreville prevented improvements of
EBITDA which, at USD 6.9 million, was slightly below the previous
Year's figure of USD 7.2 million.

Precious Woods Amazon: systematically resolving the situation in
Brazil Harvestable forest area was increased by 105 000 hectares to
around 300 000 hectares, some 64% of the total forest owned by
Precious Woods. Despite strong sales on the local market, exports
fell below expectations in the first half of the year due to
unusually heavy rainfall. The Kanban system was introduced at the end
of 2011 in order to optimize harvesting and warehousing processes and
reduce warehousing costs. Headcount was cut by 131. As in 2010, the
measures had a negative impact on costs in 2011, albeit much smaller
than in the previous year. Set against sales of USD 14.7 million, the
cost basis was still too high. EBITDA improved by USD 9.5 million to
USD -1.7 million at the end of 2011.

Precious Woods Europe: improved cost base for 2012 Precious Woods
Europe faced a difficult market environment during 2011, resulting in
an 8% decline in sales to USD 21.5 million. The restructuring and
optimization measures, combined with a reduction in the workforce,
were continued during the year. These will improve the cost base and
will begin to feed through into results in 2012. The greater emphasis
on market orientation due to the new sales organization will also
have a positive impact on results this year. Precious Woods Europe's
EBITDA improved by USD 1.8 million compared to the previous year.
Because of severance payments and inventory write-downs, however,
2011 EBITDA was still negative, at USD -1.8 million.

Carbon & Energy: EBITDA improved Energy production was around 20%
below the normal level in the first half of the year, due to
exceptionally heavy rainfall and the related drop in wood waste
volumes. Nevertheless, sales rose by 8% to USD 5.9 million. In March
2011 Precious Woods received the Certified Emission Reductions (CERs)
for 2009 generated from the power plant, the sale of which led to
income of USD 0.9 million. EBITDA stood at USD 2.6 million (2010: USD
0.7 million). As part of the cash-neutral debt restructuring with the
minority shareholder in the power plant, Precious Woods will transfer
40% of its shares in the plant to the minority shareholder as of 1
April 2012, and will thereafter retain a 40% shareholding. For this
reason, the power plant will no longer be consolidated.

Precious Woods Central America: commitment remains despite 75%
divestment The partial divestment of forestry activities in Central
America enabled the holding company's outstanding debts to be repaid
while maintaining liquidity. The PWCA segment has now been
reclassified as a "discontinued operation" in order to ensure
comparability between the 2011 and 2010 figures. The Chairman of the
Board of Directors of Precious Woods Holding is represented in the
Board of PWCA, and the constructive collaboration continues.

Social and ecological sustainability: the company compass of Precious
Woods Throughout the turnaround phase, Precious Woods has remained
committed to its goal of creating social, environmental and economic
added value simultaneously. In 2011 further staff reductions were
necessary, chiefly in Brazil and at Precious Woods Europe; these were
conducted on fair terms and within the statutory framework. The
outcome has been to safeguard the jobs of the remaining employees and
to ensure that they continue to receive fair pay and social security

Outlook: strengthening the Group Management The balance sheet
structure of the Precious Woods Group remains solid - as evidenced by
an equity ratio of over 49% - and the Group is therefore well
equipped to absorb the loss generated last year. There are no plans
to take on further debt. Group Management will be strengthened by the
arrival on 1 May 2012 of Stefan Meinhardt as Chief Commercial
Officer. He will be responsible for global sales, which are now being
run centrally from Switzerland. Based on the measures implemented,
the Board of Directors and Management are confident that operational
progress will lead to a marked improvement in results in 2012.

Annual General Meeting 2012 The Annual General Meeting will take
place on Thursday, 24 May 2012, at 3.15 p.m. in the Metropol,
Fraumünsterstrasse 12, Zurich. Invitations to the Annual General
Meeting, together with the full agenda and the proposals of the Board
of Directors, will be published on 3 May 2012 in the Swiss Official
Gazette of Commerce (SOGC) and on the Precious Woods website.

The full Annual Report is now available for download from the website

end of ad-hoc-announcement ==========================================
====================================== Precious Woods is an
international company active in the sustainable management and use of
tropical forests. The company’s core activities include reforestation
and sustainable management of tropical forests, timber processing and
the trading of FSC-certified timber products. The generation of
emission rights and electricity from wood waste represent further
integral elements of the company’s business. Shares of Precious Woods
Holding Ltd have been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since March
2002. Additional information about Precious Woods can be found at

Further inquiry note:
Precious Woods Holding AG
Brunhilde Mauthe
Head of Group Communications & Marketing Services
Tel. +41 44 245 81 20
Fax +41 44 245 81 12

end of announcement euro adhoc

issuer: Precious Woods Holding Ltd.
Baarerstrasse 79
CH-6301 Zug
phone: +41 44 245 80 10
FAX: +41 44 245 80 12
mail: office@preciouswoods.com
WWW: http://www.preciouswoods.com
sector: Forestry & Timber
ISIN: CH0013283368
indexes: SPI
stockmarkets: Main Standard: SIX Swiss Exchange
language: English


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