Moelven posted a NOK 53.7 million profit on the company's operations during the first quarter of 2014, i.e. NOK 117.6 million more than for the same quarter last year.

Operating income in the first quarter also increased compared to the same period last year and finished at NOK 2,259.6 million (1,848.7 million). Profits before tax were NOK 32.9 million (-69.8).

Several reasons for improvements 

-The development in results is due to improved market conditions, a higher level of activity and internal developments. In addition to the continuous day-to-day improvement work, there is also a noticeable effect from the advanced progress of the commissioning stages of several major investments, says CEO Hans Rindal of Moelven Industrier ASA.

Improved market conditions  

Rindal is pleased about the improvement in results, particularly in relation to the first quarter last year.

-We have gone from genuinely difficult market conditions for sawn timber in a lot of countries, to more normal demand. There is still little activity in parts of Europe, but it has either stabilized or started to pick up. Combined with good demand in markets outside of Europe, this has provided a better market balance. This also has a positive influence on the prices for wood-based building products in the home markets in Scandinavia.

Higher demand and improved order backlogs

Demand for building products in Scandinavia was also somewhat greater in the first quarter than what is ordinary for the season. At the same time, at the start of the quarter the order backlog for the Building Systems division had a better composition than at the same point in 2013. This has resulted in larger deliveries and better results than the previous year.

Expect continued improvements in results

Some improvement in the international price outlook for sawn timber is expected in the second quarter. 
-Demand is on the increase, and producer stocks of finished goods remain at relatively low levels. The Building Systems division's order backlog remains good, and the building products division Wood expects a normal seasonal increase in demand in the second quarter, Rindal says.