SWISS KRONO Continues OSB Growth Course and Shifts Investment Priorities to Western Europe
April 2023 / Following a two-year break necessitated by the pandemic, wood-based materials manufacturer SWISS KRONO will once again be represented at this year’s BAU in Munich with a 200-square-metre stand.
SWISS KRONO will showcase a number of innovative new high-end products which have bolstered the portfolios of its three divisions, Flooring, Interiors and Building Materials. Attention will also focus on the aspect of sustainability.
Martin Brettenthaler, CEO and President of the Executive Committee of the SWISS KRONO Group, stated that ‘our sector is significantly impacted by the knockdown effects of the war in Ukraine, like the suppliers of many other construction inputs and more generally all energy-intensive industries. Examples include the increased inflation rates and greater costs for energy and raw materials. Business was good in the 2021/22 financial year, but now we’re seeing a sharp drop in the demand for building materials. A decline was expected, but its extent has also taken us by surprise.’
In this complex situation, SWISS KRONO is taking consistent action without panicking. Measures required in the short term – for example, to reduce personnel, costs and inventories – began being implemented in the autumn of 2022. Parallel to this, strategically important projects are continuing.
Brettenthaler also explained that ‘the medium- and long-term prospects for our industry are favourable, because if it’s necessary to decarbonise the European construction sector – which accounts for about a third of all greenhouse emissions – then it’s essential to build more with wood. This fact is being recognised everywhere, and will lead to a strong, lasting and above all increasing demand for wood-based materials. SWISS KRONO is consistently focusing on certified energy management and the use of renewable energy sources, raw materials from sustainable sources and resource-conserving production processes, which is why our products and solutions actively contribute to combatting climate change.’
SWISS KRONO will continue to strengthen its three business units, namely Flooring, Interiors and Building Materials. In recent years the group has significantly expanded the capacities at its existing production facilities for building materials in particular, with OSB as the core product. At Heiligengrabe in Germany, for example, in 2022 the OSB production capacity was boosted from 450,000 to 600,000 cubic metres per year, and in Poland it will increase from 430,000 to 480,000 cubic metres a year by the end of 2023. New facilities are also being added at Sully-sur-Loire in France and Vásárosnamény in Hungary; they are scheduled to go on line in 2024. SWISS KRONO will also continue growing in Western Europe by establishing new greenfield OSB production plants.
‘We were originally planning to build an OSB facility at our site in Sharya in Russia, with an output of 600,000 cubic metres a year and an investment volume of 260 million euros. But immediately after Russia attacked Ukraine we decided to abort this project, which was already quite far along, and also halt all of our other investments in that country. Now we’re focusing on Western Europe instead. France in particular offers us attractive conditions: a favourable demographic trend, an especially strong, politically supported shift to building with wood, a sensible energy policy and a sufficient supply of wood in the south-west,’ said Brettenthaler.
About SWISS KRONO Group
The SWISS KRONO Group ranks among the globally leading manufacturers of wood-based materials, specialising in sustainable, innovative solutions in the categories of Flooring, Interiors and Building Materials. SWISS KRONO stands for regenerative materials for creating living and working worlds. As a preferred partner, SWISS KRONO enables its customers to grow with green building materials. Founded in 1966 as a family enterprise, today it is wholly owned by Ines Kaindl-Benes. The corporate group currently employs about 5,000 people at ten production sites in eight countries worldwide. The group is based in Lucerne, Switzerland and led by Martin Brettenthaler. swisskrono.com
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