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Södra distributes SEK 1.5 billion to members

During Södra's general meeting in Kalmar, a decision was made to distribute the profit distribution of SEK 1,474 million to the members. During the meeting, evaluation of the southern model, development of the business model and the risk that species protection could render the forest owner disenfranchised were highlighted.

During the general meeting in Kalmar on May 28, 2024, the meeting approved the board's proposal for profit sharing of SEK 1,474 million. This means that the dividend this year increases in relation to the profit and that approximately two-thirds of the year's profit is distributed to the members.

"The raw materials market in 2023 has been in major change. But thanks to the strength of the cooperation and our industrial structure, we can still distribute almost SEK 1.5 billion. The meeting is our graduation day and we have had a meeting with high commitment and good dialogue, in order to take on the challenges of the future together," says Magnus Hall, chairman of Södra.

The sum corresponds to an average of SEK 28,478 per member and 65 percent of the profit before tax. The decision on profit sharing was decided at the general meeting in Kalmar on May 28, 2024.

The proposal for profit sharing consists of:

  • Dividend on timber deliveries: SEK 844 million (equivalent to 12 percent)
  • Dividend on investment capital (paid in and issued): SEK 492 million (equivalent to 8 percent)
  • Contribution issue on paid-in contribution capital: SEK 138 million (equivalent to 6 percent)

The meeting is the core of the cooperation

"The meeting is the core of the cooperation, where we get the opportunity to gather for decisions and discussions, look back on the past year and look ahead," said Lotta Lyrå, CEO of Södra, in her opening speech.

During the general meeting, the cooperative power in Södra gathers, but it is also an occasion where we direct our eyes and energy forward. As a forest owners' association with a world-leading industry, we find ourselves in a time of both opportunities and challenges that come from the increasing interest in the forest and its benefits. Which was reinforced in Södra's chairman Magnus Hall's speech:

"Södra and Södramodellen must continue to deliver the best conditions for the forest farm. It enables our members to be independent and creates an environment where we can do what we do best. But the real strength is the enormous driving force that we can create together. We are now on the way to implementing it to an even greater degree by making changes for a stronger Södra."

Several of the AGM's speeches, motions and discussions dealt with the importance of adapting the cooperation to the new era and continuing to focus on the future, through, for example, both a developed profit sharing model and developed business models.

Evaluation of the Södra model

Magnus Hall announced at the meeting that the board had made a decision that a working committee would be tasked with evaluating the current profit sharing policy - including the trading of stakes and related statutes. In the process, the administrative council and all forestry areas must have the opportunity to express their views.

"The southern model and our profit sharing policy are part of our competitiveness and its timber-driving, but also equal treatment, role must be clear. At the same time, it must meet the members' demands for flexibility when it comes to managing their membership capital in Södra," said Magnus Hall during the meeting.

Developed business forms

The increased competition for forest raw materials is good for the forest owners, but different offers are still difficult to understand and compare. Lotta Lyrå said during her speech that Södra is now taking a step towards a more transparent and well-functioning timber market.

"Södra members will have access to our entire timber pricing, including premiums and supplements. Open price statistics are also published on our external website. Now it is up to the other players in the market to show if they are prepared to follow in the same direction," said Lotta Lyrå."

It should also be easier to see the outcome of the deal before felling. The business form "stem price" is further developed with the addition "felling cost per stem". Which gives forest owners a net price per trunk, diameter class and tree species.

"The business model is unique in the industry and we strongly believe in its continued development," added Lotta Lyrå.

Let the forest owner continue to take responsibility for nature conservation

"For a long time now, we have seen how the legal development and changed application in, for example, species protection issues put us forest owners in an almost lawless situation. As forest owners, we take a great deal of responsibility for active nature conservation in our forests and I am concerned that ownership and user rights are being put out of play," said Magnus Hall in his opening speech.

Both the chairman and CEO highlighted in their speeches how forest owners take a great deal of responsibility for active nature conservation in their forests. We must care for the forest together, forest owners and authorities, but ownership and user rights must not be put out of play. In Lotta's speech, she reinforced Magnus's words:

"It is central that we are involved in this work, are generous with our knowledge, active in the dialogue and stand for a future-oriented and constructive voice that can point out how different path choices help or overturn the conditions for family forestry and the industry. Species protection legislation should contribute to creating incentives for the forest owner, to work with preserving and developing natural values, just like today. But under reasonable and fair conditions."

Håkan Larsson was elected as a new board member

The nomination committee proposed that Håkan Larsson be elected as a new member of Södra's board, which the meeting approved.

The selection committee sees that Håkan will contribute a lot with his solid knowledge of, among other things, raw material flow and timber balances. His experience in both cooperative and operational work gives him an overall picture of the strengths and challenges for Södra, which is important in board work.

The meeting also approved the decision to re-elect members Magnus Hall, Kristina Alsér, Paul Christensson, Carina Olson, Hans Berggren, Mikaela Johnsson, Pål Börjesson and Hannele Arvonen and the meeting approved the proposal. Magnus Hall also received continued trust as chairman of the board.

"Our proposal involves a strategic board that combines forestry expertise with industrial competence. It equips Södra to successfully meet the challenges of the future and a stronger forest farm," says Magnus Johansson, chairman of the selection committee.

Emma Holmström receives Lars-Eric Åström's prize

The Lars-Eric Åström prize is given to one or more people who contributed to developing the cooperative business form or contributed to developing family forestry.

This year the prize was awarded to Emma Holmström. She is awarded the prize for her many years of dedicated research into the future of forestry in southern Sweden and the practical application of more mixed forest and management of the impact of ungulates, which is vital knowledge for family forestry's ability to meet future challenges.

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