Business update to York shareholders
York Timber Holdings Limited
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)
(Registration number 1916/004890/06)
Share code: YRK
(“York” or the “Company”)
BUSINESS UPDATE TO YORK SHAREHOLDERS
York recognises the importance of actively engaging with its stakeholders and will therefore be
communicating regularly on progress made in the achievement of its strategic initiatives and objectives.
The Plywood Expansion Project is progressing well and given the strong demand for York’s plywood
products and success of the export strategy, York entered into the next phase of its plywood
growth strategy. This entails the further extension of the plywood plant, together with the installation
of a new 48 daylight plywood press, as well as further value-adding equipment aimed at the export
In pursuing this strategy, York entered into a partnership agreement with Raute Corporation that
will give the Company access to Raute Corporation’s top technicians, up-to-date software upgrades
and technology improvements, thereby providing the Company with 24-hour support and valuable
skills transfer to plywood plant technicians.
York recently obtained certification from the American Plywood Association which will allow it to
export plywood products to the USA. This recognition is in addition to the certifications that York
holds from SATAS (South African Technical Auditing Services) and the CE mark for export to
2. WHOLESALE AND REMANUFACTURING
The Wholesale division opened two more branches in the last two months and other opportunities
in Southern Africa are being explored.
The Remanufacturing division is exploring alternative methods to add value to raw material. This
remains a strategic growth avenue for York.
3. BIOMASS POWER PLANT PROJECT
It is very disappointing that Government and the Department of Energy appear to be side-lining the
renewable energy programme. York will, however, remain hopeful until March 2017 for the
preferred bidder announcement under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer
Procurement Programme (“REIPPPP”). Should it not be announced by then, York will pursue
various sawmill projects that will unlock strategic value for all stakeholders, as conveyed in our 2016
integrated annual report.
Sawmilling operations are proceeding well and given the delayed announcement of the preferred
bidder under the REIPPPP, York will consider consolidation of its sawmill operations in the
Escarpment and upgrading its sawmill in the Highveld to ensure that it stays on track with its
strategic commitments. York is in a position to commence the project instantaneously as the
environmental and all other related authorisations for the Sabie integrated site have been approved.
The Sabie integrated site will include a 14MW co-generation facility to ensure that the integrated
site will be self-reliant on energy.
5. INTEGRATED REPORTING AWARD
For the second year in a row, York won the Fledgling/Alt-X category in the Integrated Reporting
Awards 2016, which was hosted by Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa in partnership with the
JSE Limited. The judges were complimentary about the disclosure of the well-defined key
performance indicators in York’s 2016 integrated annual report. York is proud of its whole team for
6. KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
During its recent shareholder roadshow and investor presentations, York received requests for a
more comprehensive explanation of the calculation of the value of the biological asset and the
seemingly low returns on equity and assets. In the next communiqué, we will illustrate factors that
impact these ratios and how York envisages to improve on these ratios by growing the business to
the benefit of all stakeholders.
7. SHARE REPURCHASE PROGRAMME
York continues to recognise the value in the organisation in excess of its current share price and
has therefore resumed its share repurchase programme.
8. PEOPLE AND EVENTS
Negotiations on wages for the Processing and Forestry staff have been successfully concluded.
York recently purchased the Lone Creek Lodge that is situated next to its Sabie mill. This is after
years of hardship on various issues impacting both businesses. The lodge will be utilised for offices,
staff entertainment and catering for our customers, suppliers and other guests in a cost-efficient
York celebrated its centenary during the York Enduro Mountain Bike Rally. A number of previous
CEOs of the Company were honoured at the event and tribute was made to York’s customers and
staff for their contribution in achieving this significant landmark.
The Qhubeka Buffalo bicycles offered to York staff through an employee purchase programme
proved so popular that York launched the Sabie Qhubeka Club. The club is open to all employees
and their immediate family provided they own or ride a Qhubeka bike. This initiative empowers our
staff by providing them with affordable and sustainable transport. Further momentum will be gained
when the programme is extended to school children in the Escarpment.
For more information please visit York’s website www.york.co.za or York’s Facebook page.
25 November 2016
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