Coillte’s Pre-Tax Profits Plummet by Over €60 Million in 2021

Coillte's Pre-Tax Profits Plummet by €60 Million in Latest Financial Results

Pre-tax profits at Coillte, the semi-state forestry company, witnessed a significant decline of over €60 million, plummeting to €61.5 million for the fiscal year 2023, as per the latest financial disclosures released today. In contrast, the company had recorded pre-tax profits of €122.3 million in the preceding year. The newly unveiled financial report also sheds light on Coillte’s annual turnover, which contracted to €413.8 million in 2023 from €478.7 million in the previous year. Notably, the company disbursed a dividend amounting to €17.7 million to the State in 2023, marking a decrease from the €27.7 million paid out in 2022.

Coillte undertook a refinancing of its existing debt facilities in the previous year, resulting in the availability of €150 million in revolving debt facilities. The company concluded the year with a net cash balance of €65 million. Imelda Hurley, the chief executive of Coillte, acknowledged the challenges faced by the semi-state entity in the past year, citing “significant headwinds.” Despite the volatile market conditions, inflationary pressures, and other adversities, Coillte managed to achieve an EBITDA of €106 million and operating cash of €43 million. Hurley emphasized that although the financial performance witnessed a decline from previous peaks, it marked the fourth-highest in the company’s 35-year history.

Hurley further explained that the global reduction in demand for sawlog, Oriented Strand Board (OSB), and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) products led to price reductions in key markets, including Ireland, the UK, and the EU. Since its inception as a commercial semi-state entity in 1989, Coillte has expanded its forest estate management from 396,000ha to the current 440,000ha over the past three and a half decades. The company directly employs over 800 individuals and engages around 1,200 contractors. Hurley highlighted the increasing societal significance of Coillte, emphasizing its status as the largest provider of outdoor recreational spaces in Ireland, boasting 12 forest parks, 260 recreational areas, and 3,000km of walking trails nationwide.

Moreover, Coillte stands as one of the primary suppliers of roundwood to the Irish wood processing sector, producing approximately three million cubic meters annually. In 2023, Coillte reforested nearly 8,000ha of land with 18 million trees, and successfully completed the construction of the first windfarm in FuturEnergy Ireland, a joint venture with ESB. Looking ahead, the company outlined its plans to advance investments in Medite Smartply, its market panel board business, FuturEnergy Ireland, and “nature restoration projects of scale” in the coming year.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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