March 15, 2011 / 10:43 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Sino Forest Q4 profit rises on wood fibre operations

* Q4 EPS $0.65 vs analyst view $0.62

* Q4 rev up 63 pct to $767.3 mln

* Sees 2011 capex $1.9 bln (Adds details on consultant review)

MARCH 15 (Reuters) - Sino-Forest Corp’s quarterly profit rose 52 percent and beat analyst estimates because of strong performance at its wood fibre operations, and said it remained upbeat about its performance this year.

The Canada-based company, which operates plantations in over 10 provinces in China, plans to spend about $1.9 billion to buy plantations, plant trees and perform maintenance in 2011.

The company plans to plant 80,000-100,000 hectares in 2011, as part of its goal to plant 200,000 hectares by 2012.

“We remain very optimistic about the potential for China’s domestic growth and demand for wood fibre,” Chief Executive Allen Chan said in a statement.

Fourth-quarter net income was $170.9 million, or 65 cents per share, compared with $112.7 million, or 49 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue rose 63 percent to $767.3 million. Revenue from its wood fibre business rose to $581.4 million from $371.5 million a year ago, supported by an 11 percent increase in average selling price and a 41 percent increase in fibre volumes sold.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn 62 cents per share on revenue of $648.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sino Forest also said the consultancy hired to evaluate its forest plantation assets would no longer allow its detailed reports to be made public, particularly for the North American, Australian and Mainland China markets.

The company did not say why this will happen, and an official at the company was not available for comment.

Poyry Consulting is expected to finalize its valuation of Sino-Forest’s over 750,000 hectares of plantation trees by the end of April.

Sino Forest’s shares, which have lost nearly 10 percent of their value so far this year, closed at C$21.32 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar. Editing by Robert MacMillan) (; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging:

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