Finnish timber giants Metsäliitto Group and UPM have reported a boost to their profits in the third quarter.

Metsäliitto, which operates the Finnforest, posted a net profit of €89m for the third quarter of 2010, compared to a net loss of €61m a year ago. Sales were €1.34bn, up from €1.15bn a year ago.

The wood products division recorded an operating profit of €21m during the third quarter.

“Our result is proof of the favourable market situation of the third quarter and shows the Group’s competitiveness in the chosen core businesses,” said Kari Jordan, president & CEO, Metsäliitto Group

“In addition to seasonal fluctuation, the recent strong fluctuations of exchange rates create significant challenges for the last quarter.”

UPM recorded its best EBITDA figure in three years – €384m – and a 21% growth in sales in the quarter.

Sales rose to €2.3bn, an increase attributed to higher delivery volumes and sales prices across all the company’s business areas.

Jussi Pesonen, UPM president and CEO, said construction had not yet recovered and that the timber businesses’ profitability was hampered by the weakening of the market, but the plywood businesses had improved in industrial end uses.

“For the final quarter we estimate both sales prices in euros and deliveries to be in line with the third quarter,” said Mr Pesonen. “We expect the operating profit for the second half of the year to be higher than for the first half.”