PRE-tax profits at Coillte more than doubled to €28.7m last year, new figures show.
The jump from €16.3m came as the semi-state forestry firm said turnover also increased by €13.6m to €275.7m in 2013, with export sales accounting for 59pc of that – the majority going to the UK.
“Coillte delivered a strong financial performance in 2013, and I am pleased to report that we delivered an operating profit of €41.3m,” said Gerry Britchfield, acting chief executive
“2013 proved to be a year of two halves for us - the first half of the year was extremely challenging with the UK market exiting slowly from recession, however there was a significant improvement in the second half of the year.”
Mr Britchfield again backed the Government’s decision, announced on Tuesday, partially merge Coillte and Bord na Mona n specific areas of overlap between the respective companies in wind energy, biomass supply, shared services and green tourism.
“Over the past two years Coillte has worked constructively with Government to determine how best to capture the significant future opportunities for growth available to the company and optimise its performance and contribution to the State and we believe that the Government decision this week represents a practical approach to delivering additional value for the State as shareholder,” Mr Britchfield added.
Coillte, which manages Ireland’s network of trails, forest parks and recreation sites, continues to expand in the renewable energy sector through windfarms.
It said it spent €41.2m on investments last year, of which over 80pc was spent enhancing and maintaining the forest estate.