Forestry group Coillte profits increased 46% in 2014

Chief executive says company recovering after ‘deep recession’

During the course of the year, Coillte planted 15 million trees on 6,200 hectares of land and sold 2.3 million cubic metres of timber

During the course of the year, Coillte planted 15 million trees on 6,200 hectares of land and sold 2.3 million cubic metres of timber

 

Coillte, the forestry company, delivered an operating profit of €60.5 million in 2014, its annual report shows.

The figure represents an increase of 46 per cent on 2013.

In addition, group turnover increased by €22.3 million, or eight per cent, to €298 million.

Profit after tax increased to €38.3 million, up from €25.8 million in 2013 and €15 million in 2012.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda), increased 33.5 per cent to €78.9 million.

The report also shows sales outside Ireland accounted for 54 per cent of group turnover, helping reduce volatility in earnings.

During the course of the year, Coillte planted 15 million trees on 6,200 hectares of land and sold 2.3 million cubic metres of timber. An estimated 18 million visits were made to Coillte’s forests.

Coillte chief executive Fergal Leamy said the figures represented the company’s “progress” in terms of recovering from the “deep recession in the construction markets in the UK and Ireland”.

“Coillte’s core business is forestry and we are encouraged by the strong demand we are seeing globally for the products we produce,” he said.

“We expect this demand to increase in the next few years with stronger demand from construction and growing bio energy needs.

“In parallel we are maximising the value of each forest hectare we own by developing an exciting renewable energy portfolio which will provide electricity needs for approximately 210,000 homes within the next five years.”