The Medite MDF production facility is located at Clonmel, while the SmartPly OSB operation is based at Waterford.

The 2019 turnover was comprised of the following: Republic of Ireland sales €26.1m, UK €127.8m and the rest of the world accounted for €53.4m.

Total Group sales were €327.4m (2018: €330.3m), with the second largest business division – forestry – seeing a turnover of €115.8m, virtually identical to 2018.

Coillte also gave an update on Phase 2 of the SmartPly plant renewal investment. Phase 2 had gained Board approval in October 2019 to proceed with investment in dryers, energy plant and screens.

Phase 1 had focused on a €59m investment in replacing the press and finishing end. Completion of Phase 2 is designed to underpin the future competitiveness of SmartPly and shareholder approval is currently being sought for the investment “which we believe will realise significant cost savings and allow us to increase production and keep pace with our customers’ ambitious growth plans”.

In December 2019 the Group invested a further €984,000 in its combined investments in Tricoya Technologies Limited and Tricoya Ventures UK Limited.

The construction of the world’s first Tricoya wood chip acetylation facility in Hull, UK has proceeded at pace over the course of Q1 2020. The project, a joint venture with partners BP and Accsys Technologies, had experienced some delays during 2019.

Medite will be the key user of the Tricoya chip supply from the plant when it is up and running, which it is currently expected to be by the end of 2020.

“This will enable us to significantly ramp up sales of Medite Tricoya Extreme, which is continuing to exhibit strong demand and price development and is a cornerstone of Medite’s future value-added strategy,” Coillte said. Coillte sold 2.72 million m3 of roundwood in 2019, its highest-ever annual volume of timber sales.