Timbmet, one of the UK’s leading distributors of hardwoods, panel ranges and other timber related products to the timber industry has posted its latest set of trading figures which show a return to profit after two years of disappointing financial results

Following a restructuring programme initiated in 2013 the sales decline experienced in the previous three years was strongly reversed in the second half of the year. Core UK sales, which were down 6.3% in the first half, increased by 10% in the second half on a like for like basis to finish the year overall 1.7% up on the previous year.

Chief executive, Paul Rivers, noted: “The restructuring programme carried out last year, together with strong operational controls, has resulted in a much more focused business and helped reduce overheads by 17.2%. The development of our panel offering is our primary focus as this is now the largest part of our business. However, it is very encouraging to be able to report that we have reversed the decline in our traditional hard wood market which has returned to growth this year. We have continued to see strong growth for our TEC engineered products in general and Red Grandis in particular.”

UK managing director, Nigel Cox, reports: “We went back to basics focusing on the needs of our customers, developing our product offering and empowering the workforce. As a result the momentum taken in to the second half of the year saw an increase in both the number of active trading customers and their average spend with minimal impact on our gross profit percentage. By working closer with our key suppliers we ensured we had the best products available to our customers at all times. Cost control was paramount for success and everyone played their part in controlling spend allowing the business to invest in 12 new lorries to better serve the customer needs.”

Chairman, Simon Fineman, comments: “The Group is pleased to report an operating profit after exceptional costs of £1,518,000 compared with an operating loss of £3,205,000 in the previous year, and a profit for the year as a whole. There are now some encouraging signs that the economic pressures within the UK are easing and given this improving economic environment and the actions taken by the group in recent years, the board are confident that we will continue to trade profitably in the current financial year."