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Swedish sawmiller Setra says COVID-19 is continuing to cause uncertainty but it has succeeded in maintaining full sawmill production without furloughing any employees.

Setra reported an operating profit of SEK59m (2019 H1: SEK117m) for the first six months of 2020. Net sales totalled SEK2.203bn (2019 H1: SEK2.383bn). Operating profits for the second quarter amounted to SEK47m (2019 Q2: SEK34m), with net sales totalling SEK1.109bn (2019 Q2: SEK1,255bn).

The company said the effects of the Covid-19 virus continue to cause uncertainty.

“To date, however, Setra has succeeded in maintaining its full sawmill production, without furloughing any employees,” it said. “Setra’s crisis management team is monitoring the development of the virus and its potential impact on Setra’s operations on an ongoing basis.”

Setra said its H1 profits were slightly down on the same period in 2019, largely on account of significantly lower sales prices.

“Deliveries during the second quarter were actually better than expected, powered primarily by sales to China, Japan and Sweden. There is some optimism concerning future development, given that deliveries to Europe in particular are expected to increase.

“That said, appreciable uncertainty still applies with regard to the development of the market over the second half of the year.”

The factory for cross-laminated timber (CLT) in Långshyttan in which Setra made a strategic investment has commenced production on schedule, and in the middle of June it was officially announced that Setra had been commissioned to deliver the timber frames for Cederhusen, the Folkhem housing development project.

Also in the middle of June, the first package from Setra’s strategic investment in a trim saw and planing machine in Hasselfors was finished.

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