Panel producer Sonae recorded a net loss of €9m during the third quarter, a 17% improvement on a year ago.

Sonae said operations in Iberia continued experience tough market conditions due to the economic situation and consequences of government austerity measures. Portuguese housing permits were 20% below last year, while Spanish permits were 12% down.

German volumes during the first nine months increased by 5% and turnover rose by 15%, while France saw growth of 6% and 15% respectively. The fire at Sonae UK’s plant in June took the facility out of action but restricted output levels expected to resume in November.

Group turnover increased by 4% to €326m.

“We expect to be able to continue to improve performance when compared with the same periods of the previous year, supported by operational efficiency gains and better market positioning,” it said.