French Rougier Group in difficulty

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On the 27th of February, the listing of Rougier shares on Euronext was suspended at the opening, after a fall of around 20% in the previous days. The reason invoked was the well-known formula ''At the request of the company -pendind a press release- and until further notice''. The market is therefore waiting for a new statement, but, contacted, Rougier refused to specify the date. 

The Rougier Group has suffered losses for several years, mainly because of the logistical problems encountered in the port of Douala in Cameroon, which not only affects the company's Cameroonian activity, but also that of Congo-Brazzaville and Central Africa. 

As far as Gabon is concerned, the tangent situation has been partially redressed by the implementation last year of a new business model, in this case an agreement signed with Gabon Special Economic Zone to supply logs to the processing units. 

On the other hand, in Cameroon the situation has worsened, particularly in the second half of 2017. Boarding delays were already reported at the end of 2016. The port is silted up and congested, and the Cameroonian state owes 10 million euros of VAT credit to Rougier. At the moment,  there is no possibility to transport wood from this port. The construction of another port has been discussed for years, but with no outcome. 

On the 13th of February, the Rougier group appointed a new managing director in the person of Francis Rougier. His mission will include implementing measures to cope with the difficult situation that the French firm currently experiences, the Cameroonian media informed. 

According to boursier, which disclosed the news, the newly appointed executive will also have to continue talks regarding the sale of the group’s Cameroonian subsidiary’s assets.  The latter’s employees are already “technically unemployed”.

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