Coillte reports record-breaking year

It planted 19 million trees in 2016

Coillte reports record-breaking year

Horse Riders enjoy mild winter weather in the Dublin Mountains | Image: PA images

Coillte, Ireland’s largest forestry and land solutions company, has reported a strong set of financial and operating results.

The company develops and manages the state’s forests, manufactures timber-based products such as logs, planks and medium-density fibreboard (MDF) panels for the construction sector and is moving increasingly into other energy generation and recreational uses for its land bank.

It generated record turnover in 2016 of €288m while operating profit was close to 7% higher at more than €64m.

Its stock includes the Galway forest which has been burning for several days.

The semi-state body's core forestry division planted 19 million trees in 2016 – an increase of 15%.

Log sales increased by 25% to their highest levels in ten years.

Elsewhere, a new MDF and timber products plant was commissioned near Waterford, while the company is exploring a range of additional sale or lease options for land such as last year’s sale of the site for Apple’s giant new data centre in Athenry and the for the Centre Parks holiday resort in Longford.

Commenting on the results the Chief Executive of Coillte, Fergal Leamy said: "During 2016 we made considerable progress towards achieving our ambitious financial and operational targets. A key focus of our new strategy is to grow operating cash flows so that we can increase the return to our shareholder.

"We still have a significant challenge ahead to hit the targets we have set ourselves, however we are encouraged by the progress we have made to date and the fact that we are beginning to see the results from the successful execution of our strategy," he added.