The Finnish-based company says that the restructuring and synergies it is planning will result in up to 255 job losses from a total workforce of 1,300. Up to 150 of those could be in the UK.

The main development in the rationalisation, which will take place this year, will be the merger of Metsä’s plywood and building products operations into a single ‘building and industry business line’. It said that its timber business and upgrades arm (comprising its planing mills) would continue to operate in their existing form, but "significant synergies will be sought from combining operations in the entire organisation".

"The intention is to reduce complexity and work together to increase productivity," said executive vice-president Esa Kaikkonen. "Some of our customers could be served better under one business line."

He said that the UK business had already been adjusted in line with economic conditions, but that the market had continued to develop unfavourably.

"Our UK upgrades operations have lost market share and, while we’re maintaining the scope of our industrial and services platform to ensure efficient service, we are making adjustments accordingly," said Mr Kaikkonen.

Out of the 570-strong workforce in the UK businesses affected, 150 (26%), is the maximum figure projected.

"[The total] depends on the outcome of consultation, success in increasing new business opportunities and maintaining market share," said Mr Kaikkonen.

Metsa says it has identified its UK I-joist and pole processing businesses as non-core and will now subject them to "strategic analysis".

"We will define more detailed actions to improve their profitability in the near future," said Mr Kaikkonen.

As part of its strategy, Metsa has also put its Casteljaloux sawmill in France up for sale. If a buyer is not found in two months, the business will be closed, with the loss of 34 jobs.

It has also identified its Finnish glulam operation as non-core and will put it through the same analysis as the UK I-joist and pole businesses.