"By merging Timber and Interior, we are taking a structural approach to sawn and planed timber as well as interior wood. We are strengthening our market presence and industrial structures, enabling us to realise synergies throughout the supply chain, from raw material to customer. By doing this, we will be able to provide an enhanced offering to our customers, thereby boosting their competitiveness," commented Lars Idermark, CEO of Södra.
The merger also strengthens Södra forest owners' range of sawn timber and interior wood, and thus also the profitability of forest estates. The merger is a natural step in the Södra's Group strategy aimed at becoming a more cohesive and profitable Group.
"The move is in line with our efforts to improve our internal efficiency, which is something we are working with on all fronts," added Idermark.
The decision to initiate union negotiations regarding the merger of the business areas was taken by Södra's Board on Tuesday, 7th October.
Håkan Svensson, currently President of Södra Timber, has been appointed President of the merged business area. Håkan Svensson has worked in the Södra Group since 2005 and has served as President of Södra Interiör and Södra Skog.
Södra Timber produces sawn timber and reported revenue in 2013 of approximately SEK 3.3 billion. Södra Interiör produces planed and turned timber products for interior use, such as mouldings, panelling, flooring, poles, glued-joints and other interior fittings in wood and reported revenue in 2013 of approximately SEK 1.2 billion. The new business area, which will be called Södra Wood, will have a combined revenue of approximately SEK 5.5 billion and about 1,500 employees.