Owner and managing director Hans Binder said he regretted the closure of MDF Hallein GmbH, which will result in 111 job losses, but said the business had no choice.

“In the end the financial pressure, 30% overcapacity [in European MDF production] and the competition from low cost manufacturers was too much, he said.

“Most importantly, there was no sign of any future change in the tough market situation in MDF. Shutting the plant is our only option to prevent more severe consequences for employees, customers and suppliers.”

He added that Hallein faced rising raw materials costs, while its customers in the flooring and furniture sector migrated production to eastern Europe and the Far East.

“Countries, such as Italy, a major market for Hallein, have experienced a 40% decline in furniture making since 1999,” he said. “Being a small player, it was in the end no longer able to withstand these conditions and achieve prices that cover costs.”

Without the MDF business, he added, the Binderholz solid wood operation, ranging from lumber to glulam and cross-laminated timber production, was “financially successful”.

“And investment is planned, particularly in solid wood construction systems, to ensure our other businesses remain competitive long term,” he said.