Swedish sawmilling company Setra plans to cut back production by 20% over coming months in response to declining demand, primarily in Central Europe and the UK.
Setra reported considerable uncertainty in the market and said its cutback in production would be via the implementation of furloughs.
The company also reported a Q1 operating profit of SEK12m (2018 Q1: SEK83m) and net sales totalling SEK1.09bn (2018 Q1: SEK1.1bn). The Q1 result was attributable to high delivery levels coupled with rising selling prices.
“Earnings for the first quarter have slightly exceeded expectations and have not been noticeably affected by the virus outbreak,” it said.
“Setra is continuing to uphold the strong collaborative spirit that exists within and between its units, while maintaining a high level of flexibility,” said Katarina Levin, Setra’s CEO.
“This is helping us effectively manage the difficulties and challenges we face.”
The end of March saw construction start on Pyrocell’s plant, which is being built next to Setra’s Kastet sawmill. The plant will convert sawdust from the sawmill into pyrolysis oil. It will produce about 25,000 tonnes of pyrolysis oil, equivalent to the annual fuel consumption of 15,000 cars, and is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Setra’s strategic investments in a cross-laminated timber mill in Långshyttan and a trim saw and planing machine in Hasselfors progressed as planned during the quarter.