Chile’s Arauco the forestry and pulp unit belonging to the Copec group, trebled profits in the first quarter boosted by higher international prices and sale volumes particularly pulp, according to the company’s latest financial report.
The company is one of the leading world companies in pulp production totalling profits of 172.5 million USD in the first three months of 2011 compared to 62.5 million USD during the same period in 2010 when some of its plants suffered the consequences of an earthquake and tsunami.
Arauco this week began the construction of another pulp mill in Uruguay in association with Finland/Sweden Stora-Enso. The group’s investment is estimated to reach 1.9 billion USD. The Conchillas plant should be fully operational in 2013 with an annual production of over a million tons.
In its statement the company says the strong increase in gross benefits is attributed to a proportional increase in income from ordinary activities mainly because of the rise in international prices and sales volumes”.
Overall total revenue reached 1.047 billion USD, which represents an annual increase of 33.4% compared to the same period a year ago.
According to the company’s website Celulosa Arauco y Constitución S.A. (Arauco) is a major forestry company providing employment for 35.000 people in the world, through its industrial operations in Chile, Argentina and Brazil, in addition to its network of sales offices around the world.
Financial figures for 2010 indicate sales of 3.8 billion USD and a profit of 701 million USD.
Arauco’s forest land is distributed throughout Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay with 1,006,660 hectares of forest plantations, 374 thousand hectares of native forest and 202 thousand hectares assigned for other purposes.
Its annual production is 3.2 million tons of bleached and unbleached market kraft pulp, plus sawn timber of 2.8 million m3/year are produced in Chile and Argentina and panel production of 3.2 million m3/year in Chile, Argentina and Brazil.
Arauco owns 374.000 hectares in Chile assigned for preservation, research and conservation purposes. The company also manages 9 parks in Chile, totalling 1,200 hectares for recreational, educational and research purposes.