Swedish forestry group Södra has launched a subsidiary it hopes will make it Europe’s leading supplier of wooden construction components.

Södra Building Systems AB – headed-up by Peter Carlsson who joins as MD from Södra Timber – is to focus on the fast-growing timber construction markets of Germany, Denmark, the Nordic countries and the UK.

Customers will initially be supplied from Södra Building Systems’ production base in Sweden but satellite plants located closer to markets are planned by the company. A UK head of sales, who may work in collaboration with an existing UK-based business, is being recruited.

Södra intends the new venture to maximise the earnings potential of its heavy investment in timber building technology. Its patented floor cassette, the SödraSemi, has been designed to deliver very high levels of sound insulation and is to act as the sales springboard in new markets.

Other products will include SödraSinus timber studs, which minimise sound transmission; and SödraSolid wall and floor slab units.

Peter Carlsson said: ‘Much of the flooring in the UK market tends to traditionally be concrete but we believe the technological innovation of our floor cassette will create inroads.’

Södra group president and chief executive Anders Wahrolen predicts that the new venture’s sales will accelerate dramatically over the next two years.

‘The time is ripe for a concerted effort like this. Our components and systems are going to arouse great interest in the building industry and demand will continue to increase,’ he said.

Last month Finnforest unveiled its Building Systems division. The operation will supply a ‘family’ of engineered wood products to the building sector (TTJ January 20).