If you buy some timber from a UK merchant these days there’s a good chance it will bear the stamp “Derome”.

While many in the timber trade will know the Swedish sawmilling business name, and that extensive stocks of its construction timber packs are located at the port of Rochester in Kent, there is far more to this company than meets the eye.

It takes its name from the locality of Derome near the west coast of southern Sweden.

TTJ’s south Sweden region focus trip stopped off here and we met up with production manager Per Andersson, whose grandfather founded the company in 1946. “He was a carpenter who did not have enough work in winter,” Mr Andersson explained.

Sweden was not involved in the second world war so there was a big opportunity to serve the rebuilding effort in Europe with timber supplies. Mr Andersson’s grandfather duly moved into the business of timber production.

Over the years it has grown and developed and can lay claim to being one of Sweden’s largest family-owned wood industry companies, with a high level of integration and offering a vast range of products and services – everything from raw material sourcing to final product via its own builders merchant chain and even housing development arm – literally a one-stop shop.

Derome Timber is one of the big players in the south Sweden sawmilling industry but Derome AB’s wider operations mean that, as a group, it employs 1,750 employees and has an annual turnover of SKr6.56bn (£582m).

It is a top 10 timber business overall in Europe, but admits it is not one to chase turnover and believes it is one of the most profitable in the Swedish timber industry.

Derome AB operates 11 divisions – Derome Skog (raw material purchasing organisation), Derome Timber (the sawmilling arm), Derome Träteknik (roof truss manufacturing), Derome Byggvaror (builders merchant chain) and the Woodtec timber treatment operation at the port of Varberg.

It also has multiple businesses in construction – Mark & Bostad is Derome’s development arm, catering for everything from planning to final delivery, while A-hus is the prefabricated timber housing operation with a factory in Anneberg. Derome Plusshus, a business bought from Setra, produces wooden modular houses with a high level of prefabrication for the Scandinavian market, while Varbergshus produces bespoke timber houses for customers in western Sweden. These latter four divisions together deliver about 1,300 homes per year.

Remaining divisions are a property letting and management business and a German roof truss manufacturing arm called Andersson Haus & Dach which produces 40,000 roof trusses per year.

“Rational Approach” for Customers

“Our vision is to be the leading wood enterprise in Sweden,” said Mr Andersson. “We are not focused on turnover but to improve and make money.”

Derome’s business concept is based on processing and supplying timber and building materials in a way that is rational for the customer, with a long-term approach to business relations, investments and in business culture.

Mr Andersson said investment in management and education, innovation and use of technology contribute towards the aim of offering products and services that correspond with what the market actually wants.

Mr Andersson summed up what he called the “Derome Spirit”, a long-term approach, environmental awareness, a driving force to improve and also simplicity.

Domestic and Export Markets

The four sawmills are located in Anneberg, Derome, Kinnared and Okome. The latter was acquired in 2015 to further consolidate Derome’s strong market position and enable continued expansion in line with customer growth.

Total sawn and planed production capacity is about 600,000m3, with the export share of production being over 40%. The UK is the largest single export market.

Half of Derome Timber’s production for the Swedish domestic market goes to its chain of over 30 builders merchants in the south and south-west of Sweden, while it also supplies timber to its roof truss factories in Derome, Kalix, Tanumshede and Mjölby.

“We have a large market in England and with the nearby Port of Varberg we have a very good logistical operation,” said Mr Andersson.

UK liner operator Scotline ships packs from Varberg to England to its Rochester terminal operation, where Derome has significant stocks for onward distribution.

The builders merchant sector is the largest UK customer for Derome’s range of structural timber products.

It also exports timber to Germany, Holland and Denmark, while North Africa is a market for pine.

“China is growing,” Mr Andersson added, echoing a sentiment expressed throughout TTJ’s Swedish travels.

“There is a big expectation that prices will grow in the US. That is a market we are investigating at the moment.”

The Derome mill itself has a production capacity of around 300,000m3 and is the fourth biggest sawmill site in south Sweden.

Significant investment at the mill in recent years has included a new sawmill with a Linck line built in 2013, followed up in 2015 by a finger-jointing plant.

The Linck sawmill separation line operates at a speed of 50-150m/min, cutting log lengths ranging from 2.8-5.9m and up to a maximum 57cm diameter.

It features active curve sawing that follows the shape of the log better and a profiling element that mills out the boards on the block.

“I do not know a mill in Sweden that is cutting such a big volume with so many types of dimensions and different lengths at the same time,” Mr Andersson said.

Scanning technology on the line includes RemaSawco log scanning and FinScan scanners for the boards, with timber moving through the mill sorting area at 120 pieces per minute.

Virtually all the production is C24 graded. Derome has worked hard to support delivering the right timber lengths for the customer and maintains close relations with the raw material situation in the forest to be able to do this effectively.

“We are rather good at integrating raw material sourcing with customer orders. It’s an advantage that we are also a customer,” said Mr Andersson.

There are two planing lines on site, the most recent of which features equipment including a Woodeye scanner, System Hall automated handling systems, Dynagrade strength grading equipment and Ledinek planer.

A lot of the timber going through the planing line is going to the company’s roof truss production facilities and timber housing businesses.

Technology in the finger-jointing line includes a Microtec Goldeneye scanner, Dimter cross-cut saws and Grecon fingerjointing technology.

The £7m finger-jointing investment has an annual production capacity of 30,000m3 per year. It mainly produces construction timber in strength grades C18, C24 and C30. The line can also produce cut-to-measure lengths of up to 14m in a number of dimensions.

Another product manufactured on site is a roofing panel, which enables roofers to put a structural covering over the roof quickly. Derome was the first company in Sweden to launch a tongue and groove roofing panel that was type approved for strength grade C14.

It is made from finger-jointed tongue and groove boards and is sold under the brand Derome Roofing Panel.

Also at the Derome site is timber building systems production, principally the fabrication of wall elements. A project for Skanska was going through the factory during our visit. Equipment includes a Hundegger SpeedCut SC2, installed three years ago, while another SpeedCut has been in use over the last 10 years.


One of Derome’s guiding principles of sustainability is shown in its involvement with the projects One Tonne Life and NEED4B. Its A-hus division joined with Volvo and Vattenfall to demonstrate the possibilities of living “climate smart”. A-hus produced a timber house which, with advanced energy solutions, challenged a family to live there and reduce their CO2 emissions from seven tonnes to one tonne per person annually. The family reduced their emissions by 80%.

The EU-funded collaboration project NEED4B saw Derome develop technology, together with the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, for an energy-efficient building of the future – Villa Solgläntan, constructed in Borås and Varberg. Featuring an extra thick, super-insulated ‘climate shell’ and renewable energy, the building could reduce energy consumption by almost three times the norm – down to 4,800kWh/year.

Through the project the partners wanted to show how a family that lives in an energy efficient timber house can influence energy consumption and the environment