Södra Timber increased its operating profits slightly in 2010 to SKr129m (2009: SKr119m).

Timber division sales were also up to SKr4.25bn (2009: SKr3.44bn).

The company said the market for sawn timber weakened towards the close of 2010, leading to the closure of group mills over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

“We’re very positive about the long-term development of the timber market,” said Södra group chief executive Leif Brodén.

“Our confidence is supported when we look at the construction sector in Europe and the US, which is still below average, but at the same time wood is being increasingly used in construction.”

Group-wide, Södra recorded total operating profits of SKr2.27bn (2009: SKr593m), mainly as a result of a very strong performance from its biggest business – pulp.