Norbord Inc., a producer of wood panels, reported that demand in Europe has remained strong, with a double-digit growth recorded in both Germany and the United Kingdom (UK).
According to Norbord, the oriented strand board (OSB) is continuing to take market share from plywood.
However, President and CEO of Norbord Peter Wijnbergen pointed to the spectre of Brexit the UK continued to face, a weakened Pound Sterling, along with the fact that Q1 came with a high impact of higher resin prices that translated into an increase in prices for wood panels when its operations in Europe yielded operational earnings of US$6 million before investment, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), as compared to the US$10 million it brought in during the 2016 Q1.
In terms of local currency, Wijnbergen indicated the prices of OSB, five per cent higher this year compared to the last in the UK, and three per cent lower on the continent in comparison to 2016 Q1.
Medium-density fibreboards and particleboard prices in the UK went up eight per cent and three per cent as well.
“Our project to modernise and expand the Inverness, Scotland OSB mill to serve this rapidly growing customer demand remains on budget and on track to start up in the second half of this year,” Wijnbergen said.
Across its group of companies, Norbord recorded a Q1 profit of US$103 million adjusted for EBITDA, as compared to the US$61 million in 2016 Q1.
Sources: Norbord Inc., Timber Trades Journal