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Bristol-based timber business records surge in sales following takeover


West Country timber and panel supply specialist Clarks Wood Company has recorded its best ever trading start to a year – with soaring sales and a rapidly rising client base.

The Bristol-based business, which has been supplying timber for more than 100 years, became a part of the Premier Forest Group, one of the leading companies in its sector in the UK, at the end of last year.

Following Premier's £250,000 investment in new plant and machinery, Clarks Wood has experienced a major change in fortunes with the first three months' timber sales increasing by 45 per cent compared to the same period last year, and the number of new client accounts opened up until April exceeding the total for the whole of 2013.

The volume of products sold for the first quarter of this year rocketed by 65 per cent and profit has risen by a third, with the success having an immediate impact on staff numbers and morale.

An additional two people have been taken on since the start of the year and the search is on for new apprentices at Clarks Wood's Silverthorne Wharf site, which has traded as a wood yard since 1863, with the business now looking to increase staffing numbers by 30 per cent over the next 12 months to cater for the growing demand.

Simon Taylor, general manager at Clarks Wood, said: "We may be one of the oldest-established and longest-surviving businesses in the city, but Clarks Wood has benefitted greatly from becoming part of the Premier Forest Group.

"Since the end of last year we have experienced a rapid growth in business, with sales in both hardwood and wood panels increasing by 45 per cent – our fastest rise in turnover for more than 10 years, with improved profits of 33 per cent.

"Our sales teams have performed exceptionally well, with an extra 51 trading accounts opened in the first three months of this year – compared to a total of 47 for the whole of 2013."

Simon added: "While continuing to sell all types of timber from a traditional timber yard, we are also expanding our brand, developing new product ranges and introducing new business strategies across our product network. A new timber machining facility is being developed and new product services, like painting and finishing, added.

"Becoming part of a major UK timber operation has provided us with the opportunity to offer a whole new range of products and services. We have easy access to our parent company's processing plant at Newport, which includes state-of-the-art laminating and cutting facilities which has enabled us to grow the Clarks Wood product base."

The Clarks Wood client base, which includes residential and commercial developers, top-end construction companies, carpenters, joiners and builders has certainly been boosted by the recent resurgence in the housing market. But a revival in the DIY sector – a spin-off from the recession – is also helping to fuel growth.

The company, which employs 20 staff at its Silverthorne Lane headquarters in the St Phillips area of Bristol, currently delivers to the whole of the city, the West Country and South and West Wales, from Land's End to Southampton, Reading, Birmingham and Haverfordwest, with a nationwide delivery service due to be rolled out during the summer.

Source:Southwest Business

Posted and edited by Hanbao News Department