Finnforest parent Metsäliitto has posted a €329m loss for 2009 (2008: €233m loss).

Impairment charges, write-downs and cost provisions hit the result, while sales fell to €4.8bn (2008: €6.4bn).

In the wood products division, sales fell to €806m (2008: €1.1bn) and operating losses narrowed slightly to €47m (2008: €74m loss).

Metsäliitto said the division had been burdened by weak demand, low sawn timber prices and high raw material costs. Cost-saving measures helped to keep the losses down.

It noticed a slight recovery in the second half of the year. “The demand and prices for the products of the plywood business line’s new Suolahti upgrading unit, in particular, have developed favourably,” it said.

The company said the division would continue to implement its strategy of increasing processing value and investing in customer-oriented development of products and services.

“Recovery is expected in the construction market during the year, but demand is likely to remain below the normal level. DIY trade volumes are also expected to increase.”