Ligna spokeperson Anja Brokjans told journalists at a central London press briefing yesterday that Stenner, JJ Smith and Teknek were among the firms booked in at the Hanover event.

She said about 90,000 visitors and 1,700 exhibitors were expected at the May 6-10 event, which will be a showcase for innovative woodworking technologies with special focus areas on lightweight panel production, surface finishing technologies and bioenergy from wood.

The UK is the 10th top visitor nation at Ligna.

Exhibition space coverage will be similar to the last event in 2011, even though only 10 halls (2011: 12 halls) will be open. This is because Deutsche Messe decided it was better to have every hall filled, rather than some with empty corners, as was the case two years ago.

Meanwhile, Dominic Wolfschutz of the German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers Association revealed new figures showing UK investment in German woodworking technology was growing. UK-bound exports were up 26% in 2012 to €41m, making the UK the 11th biggest export market for Germany.

Mr Wolfschutz said the worldwide trade in woodworking machines had grown 36% since the financial crisis in 2008, but growth had now plateaued.

He said the German woodworking machinery industry expected to record 1-2% production growth in 2013 and thought the industry was probably past the worst of the economic trials of recent years.