Södra has reported record sales across all its business areas in 2007, with higher volumes and prices compensating for the effects of a weaker dollar.

The Swedish forest products firm recorded operating profits of SKr1.7bn over the year, up by SKr125m on 2006, from net revenue of SKr17.8bn. This equates to a 1.6% growth in productivity across the group.

Södra said that its sawmill business saw the biggest growth in profits in 2007, due to an upturn in the solid wood products market, with a Europe-wide lack of supply and strong demand from the construction sector pushing up prices.

Growth in its interior wood products business was driven by “market demand, contribution from acquired companies and successful agreements with major customers”.

However, it said that storm Per in January 2007 had impacted its supply of raw materials to its mills, with 8.5 million m³ of storm-damaged timber having to be processed at a cost of SKr200m.

“This was the second financial year in a row to be impacted by a storm,” said chief executive officer Leif Brodén.

“We have continued our focus on working with things we can affect. This figure has of course not been helped by Per and the quality loss on storm-felled wood.”