Belgian hardwood distributor CIB has celebrated its 20th anniversary with a little help from Picasso.

The company staged a gala evening at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona to celebrate its October 25 birthday, the same day Picasso was born.

CIB said activities during its first four years in business had centred on selling French oak to Belgian manufacturers who dried the timber themselves. Sales hit €2.2m after just two years in business.

By the end of the 1980s, the company began to import kiln dried American hardwoods and within 10 years had established a strong market position in France.

CIB said the market changed again in the late 1990s with demand from large French furniture makers dwindling. It then turned its attention to new markets in Germany, the UK and back to Belgium and Holland, while maintaining its French sales.

Chief executive François Remiche used the occasion to thank partners, suppliers, agents and customers. He said he was looking forward to the future with hope.