A recovery in several wood-based panel markets, coupled with restructuring, helped Sonae Industria to pre-tax profits of €17.8m during the first half of 2004.

The Portuguese company’s result compares with a €35m loss during the same period in 2003. Sales grew to €787.7m from €748.4m.

Sonae said the improvement was mainly due to favourable markets for OSB and particleboard, while its MDF products experienced a “stable development”.

The company reported healthy sales in Spain, Portugal, Canada and South Africa but failed to achieve its targets in France, the UK and Brazil.