Södra board visits new UK operation
Following Södra’s acquisition of Crown Timber Group plc in March, board members visited the UK operation in Cirencester on October 6 for a business update, to unveil the new Södra branding and visit key customer Stuart Milne Timber Systems. Södra group Chairman Lena Ek, CEO and Group President Lars Idermark and President of the Södra Wood business area Jörgen Lindquist area were among the visiting party.
As part of the Södra Wood business area within the Södra Group, the Cirencester facility is the focus of all of Södra’s activities in the UK and Irish markets, managing sales of approximately GB£120 million (2015) of structural timber products. Södra originally had a 20 percent stake in the business, which it increased to 100 percent share ownership on March 31.
“The UK is our principal export market,” said Jörgen Lindquist. “This acquisition has given us valuable control over the entire supply chain – from the forest to the end users – and provides potential for growth. Södra already has sales offices in China, Germany, the Netherlands, the US, Norway and Denmark.
After a series of presentations in Cirencester, the group travelled to Stuart Milne Timber Systems in Witney, the largest and most advanced construction timber site in the UK and one of Södra’s largest customers in the country.
Stuart Milne Timber Systems Managing Director Alex Goodfellow explained the strong potential to build the 18 percent share of housebuilding in England and Wales accounted for by timber frame construction, through education about timber’s benefits. He added that a “strongly pro-housebuilding government” would promote growth across the sector as a whole, and that timber frame’s 76 percent share of housebuilding in Scotland provided a persuasive model for the rest of the UK.