A total of 40 fires, suspected to have been caused by arson, destroyed 900 hectares of timber belonging to Border Timbers, disrupting production of sawlogs.
The fires also forced the company to re-allocate resources originally ear-marked for thinning to fire-salvaging operations.
But the financials still looked good. The company had a net profit of $6.1 billion in the six months to December, a drastic improvement from $805.2 million realised in the first half of the previous year.
Net profit for the year to June 2003 was nearly $5 billion.
The planting programme fell far short of target because of poor rains. This was expected to improve in the second half.
Pruning was ahead of target. The baboon menace was under control.
The Paulington factory performed well in the six months with production of multi-ply and sliced veneer exceeding targets.
Production of blockboard and thin-ply was below target.
Prices on the international market were not competitive and the company saw no rationale in continuing with exports.
On the financial side, sales soared from $3.2 billion to $21.3 billion with operating profit improving from $835.5 million to $7.5 billion.