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Coillte makes after-tax profit of E26m

Thursday, June 26 14:50:33

Coillte today announced its annual results for 2013, posting a profit after tax of E25.8m, an increase of 69pc on 2012.

It recorded turnover of E275m, up from E262m in 2012.

Operating profit before exceptional items was E41.3m in 2013 up from E35m in 2012, reflecting what it said was increased sales volume and panel board prices

The profit figures include an exceptional charge of E0.9m compared with an equivalent charge of E6.0m in the previous year.

The State enterprise paid a dividend of E2m to shareholders, including the taxpayer in January.

It continued its capital expenditure programme in 2013 investing E41.2m, of which over 80pc was spent enhancing and maintaining the forest estate.

In overall terms, the volume of logs sold to Irish sawmills increased 3pc year on year while sales of panel products increased by 5pc. The increased demand for logs reflected increased demand for sawn timber in the UK market whereas the increase in demand for panel products occurred mainly in Ireland and continental Europe.

Export sales accounted for 59pc of Group turnover and 64pc of this figure was sold into the UK market.

Acting Chief Executive Mr. Gerry Britchfield said: "Coillte delivered a strong financial performance in 2013, and I am pleased to report that we delivered an operating profit of E41.3m. 2013 proved to be a year of two halves for us - the first half of the year was extremely challenging with the UK market exiting slowly from recession, however there was a significant improvement in the second half of the year. We are forecasting a significantly improved trading environment across all business areas for 2014 and our ambition is to continue to deliver a strong profit performance for our shareholders. We have seen a good first half of the year to date and are looking forward to delivering on our targets for the full year.

He also reiterated Coillte's support for the Government decision, announced on Tuesday, to proceed with the establishment of a Joint Venture between Coillte and Bord na Mona focused on specific areas of overlap between the respective companies in wind energy, biomass supply, shared services and green tourism.

"Over the past two years Coillte has worked constructively with Government to determine how best to capture the significant future opportunities for growth available to the company and optimise its performance and contribution to the State and we believe that the Government decision this week represents a practical approach to delivering additional value for the State as shareholder," he said.

In 2013 Coillte continued to expand in the renewable energy sector, securing planning consent for a 33 MW wind farm in Cork and significantly advancing three other wind farm projects with a combined capacity of 200MW. Coillte also remained focussed on finding new and innovative ways of adding value to the land that it manages and in 2013 the company launched a partnership with OCMS to market Coillte properties for film, television and event business.

In addition to the business performance Coillte continues to deliver world class recreation facilities, managing Ireland's network of trails, forest parks and recreation sites, as well as managing 20pc of its estate for biodiversity. 2013 saw the launch of a E900,000 project in partnership with Cavan County Council, the Cavan Burren Park. This project is just one example of how Coillte is delivering over E600m in public goods for the people of Ireland annually.

Coillte's commitment to sustainable natural resource management was also recognised internationally in 2013 when the company won the Millicom Award for Corporate and Environmental Sustainability in the European Business Awards from among 15,000 companies across Europe.