SCOTTISH Woodlands has highlighted the importance of the forestry sector in Scotland after it achieved record trading results amid strong sales of timber.
The company, which manages forests for owners ranging from individuals to local authorities, increased pre-tax profits by around 80 per cent annually, to £1.1 million in the year to September.
Scottish Woodlands harvested more than a million tonnes of timber during the year, when sales surged by around 15 per cent annually, to £74m.
The employee-owned company said the growth reflected strong demand for domestically grown timber in the UK.
Scottish Woodlands’ customer list includes sawmills, fencing producers, paper mills and biomass energy firms.
The company noted the growth was also driven by strong interest in woodlands among investors.
It said new woodland creation and re-stocking following harvesting led to stable demand for forest management services.
Managing director Colin Mann said the company’s growth demonstrated the importance of the forestry industry to Scotland.
“The forestry and wood sector in Scotland is delivering a powerful combination of sustainable economic growth and significant environmental benefits,” said Mr Mann.
Economists have estimated the industry supports 40,000 jobs in Scotland.
The monthly average number of employees at Scottish Woodlands was 141 in the latest year.
Scottish Woodlands has 13 offices in Scotland, from Strathpeffer in the Highlands to Castle Douglas in the south west.
Mr Mann said the firm’s success was based on the bedrock of the involvement of employee owners. Scottish Woodlands is 80 per cent employee owned, with the remainder held by sawmiller James Jones & Sons.