Leading timber company, Newport-based Premier Forest Group is celebrating its most successful year to date, despite the unprecedented national and international challenges facing their industry.
Established in 1993, Premier Forest Group’s turnover has increased by £31M to £170M over 12 months, in spite of constraints imposed by nationwide lockdowns, operating restrictions at their sites in UK and Ireland and significant supply chain disruption.
As well as the growth in turnover, combined EBITDA profit for the two halves of the Premier Group came in at £16M, up £7M on the group’s previous best year.
Terry Edgell, CEO and co-founder of Premier Forest Group, said: “If you had told me a year ago that this is the position we’d be in now, I would have been overwhelmed. There were some worrying times early in the first lockdown and we had no idea what to expect. However, we were determined to dig deep and our staff at all levels worked harder than ever before to ensure that the company not only survived, but thrived in these unprecedented times.
“During the past 12 months the company has demonstrated significant resourcefulness and adaptability to some of the biggest global challenges in history. The leadership, flexibility and commitment of the management team and staff is the reason why the company will emerge from the pandemic as a more successful and financially strong organisation.”
Key milestones of the period include the strategic refinancing of the company’s Irish freehold properties, providing a reassuring buffer to working capital and the supply of significant volumes of timber product to many emergency NHS field hospitals in the UK and Ireland.
Earlier this year, Premier Forest Group entered a strategic capital demerger into two groups, clearly separating the activities of the Irish companies from those in the UK; both continue operating under the ownership of Premier Forest Group’s founders Terry Edgell, Dilwyn Howells and Nigel Williams.
Terry said: “The prospects for the coming 12 months look even more exciting and we are starting this new trading year with our biggest order file to date from a position of financial strength.
“We have a robust strategic plan in place, combining significant growth in the UK, further capital investment and a new, well-resourced focus on digital and e-commerce.
“We will continue to explore opportunities for acquisitive growth but also expect to experience double digit growth based on demand and product inflation, both in Ireland and the UK.”
Premier Forest Group has also announced that their company chairman, John Antoniazzi (a former audit partner at Deloitte) is retiring. John joined the company in 2013 and in his time with the business has seen growth soar and overseen seven significant strategic acquisitions.
Terry said: “The shareholders and trading directors are sad to see John retire but are extremely grateful for his sound guidance and stewardship during these seminal years.”
Premier Forest Group is a vertically integrated timber operation engaged in the importation, sawmilling, processing, merchanting, and wholesale distribution of timber and timber products from its 16 sites in the UK and Ireland.