Forestry firm Scottish Woodlands hails profit jump

A key name in the Scottish forestry industry has revealed the steps it has taken to celebrate its 50th anniversary, alongside a 20 per cent jump in profits in its latest annual results.

Ralland Browne, managing director of Scottish Woodlands. Picture: Contributed

Scottish Woodlands, which is based in Edinburgh with offices across Scotland and in the rest of the UK, said it is marking the milestone with an anniversary book and planting a celebration woodland of 50 trees at Crieff Hydro, a long-standing client of the business.

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It said the book tells the story of the firm, which is unique in being 80 per cent owned by its 140-plus employees, and covers its management buy-outs in 1986 and 2005.

Meanwhile, its full-year results to 30 September showed turnover up almost £1 million to £70m, with profits jumping to £1.6m from £1.3m.

Managing director Ralland Browne said: “It is striking how our own history has mirrored that of forestry in Scotland.

“We became a commercial company in 1967, the year of the last Forestry Act – and, as we turn 50, a new Forestry Bill is coming before the Scottish Parliament… the company and the wider forestry and wood-processing industry are both in good health in 2017, and we are optimistic for the future, with a strong focus on driving up tree planting rates.”

Scottish Woodlands chairman Tom R Bruce-Jones, also joint MD of sawmiller James Jones & Sons, said that in Scotland politically “there appears to be a focus on new planting and restocking, and it is hoped this impetus will continue as well as providing the platform for stronger investor confidence in forestry”.