History of the HS Timber Group
The Schweighofer family’s passion for wood goes back more than 400 years. Wood and the possibilities of this material have always fascinated us. The foundation for today’s company was laid in the 20th century: based on his experience working in his parents’ small sawmill in Lower Austria, Gerald Schweighofer, together with his father, created the first profiling line of its kind in the world for small-diameter logs in the 1970s. Thanks to this innovation he set new standards in the industry. Today the HS Timber Group (formerly Schweighofer Group) is a strong company with six production sites in two countries. The pioneering spirit, passion and striving for perfection have continued unabated.
1956 - From handcraft to industry
Schweighofer’s actual success story begins in 1956, when Franz and Maria Schweighofer take over the family-owned sawmill in Austria. At that time, the annual sawing capacity in the main plant in Brand was about 1,000 m³.
1975 - A new generation
Son Gerald Schweighofer joins the firm.
1977 - Unique in the world
Gerald Schweighofer shows a willingness to take risks and a spirit of innovation by commissioning the first profiling line in the world for small-diameter logs together with his father at the headquarters in Brand, Austria.
1984 - Europe's biggest sawmill
Holzindustrie Schweighofer opens Europe’s then biggest sawmill in Ybbs an der Donau, Austria.
1991 - Always a step ahead
Takeover and development of the sawmill in Sollenau/Austria.
1996 - Beyond borders
Holzindustrie Schweighofer takes over the biggest and most modern sawmill in Ždírec, Czech Republic.
1997 - New dimensions
After taking over the sawmills in Bad St. Leonhard, Austria and in Plana, Czech Republic, Holzindustrie Schweighofer achieves an annual sawing capacity of more than 3 million m³.
In the same year, the Lamco glulam mill is built in cooperation with the Japanese company Meiken.
Additionally, the “Schweighofer Privatstiftung” [Schweighofer Private Foundation] is established.
1998 - Merger with Enso Timber
Holzindustrie Schweighofer merges with Enso Timber and becomes the third largest saw milling company in the world!
2001 - Sale
Schweighofer Privatstiftung sells its shares to the majority owner, Stora Enso, and with it also all sawmills in Austria and the Czech Republic.
2003 - Fresh start in Romania
Holzindustrie Schweighofer starts operations with a new, modern sawmill in Sebeș/Romania.
The first Schweighofer Prize is awarded in the same year.
2006 - Top 5 in Japan
Holzindustrie Schweighofer is again among the top 5 European suppliers to Japan. Overall, our products are supplied to more than 40 countries across the world.
2007 - A new hotel in Rădăuți
Opening of the The Gerald's four-star hotel in Rădăuți/Romania.
2008 - Second plant in Romania
Completion and commissioning of the second sawmill in Rădăuți/Romania.
2009 - Takeover of Swedwood production facilities
Takeover of a Swedwood production plant in Siret, only 12 kilometres away from the mill in Rădăuți. Solid wood panels are now being produced here after the plant was modernised and expanded.
2010 - Takeover of Finnforest BACO
Holzindustrie Schweighofer BACO produces blockboards and concrete formwork boards in the former Finnforest plant in Comănești.
2011 - Takeover of M-real Hallein
The Schweighofer Group acquires M-real Hallein GmbH in Austria. The company’s name is immediately changed to Schweighofer Fiber GmbH; the company focuses on manufacturing high-quality pulp and bioenergy.
2012 – Relocation of Schweighofer Fiber's production
Steps are taken to in future produce highly purified viscose pulp instead of paper pulp (starting in 2013).
2012 – 20 years of Schweighofer in Japan
The 20th anniversary of Schweighofer’s successful business relationship with Japan is celebrated in an exclusive ceremony.
2014 – Expansion of the plant in Comănești
The world's biggest blockboard plant at one location is established.
2015 – New glued laminated timber production in Rădăuți becomes operational
Glued laminated timber products are manufactured for the Japanese market in the new BEAM plant.
2015 – The third Schweighofer sawmill in Romania
Holzindustrie Schweighofer commissions the new, modern sawmill in Reci, the Schweighofer Group’s fifth plant in Romania.
2015 – Takeover of the sawmill in Kodersdorf
The Schweighofer Group takes over the Kodersdorf sawmill in Saxony, Germany from Klausner Group. An important step for entering this new market in Western Europe.
2017 - The Schweighofer Group focuses on its core business and sells its subsidiary Schweighofer Fiber GmbH to TowerBrook Capital Partners
The Schweighofer Group decides to focus on its core wood processing business and sells its subsidiary, Schweighofer Fiber GmbH, in Hallein, Austria. The Schweighofer Group acquired the then unprofitable paper pulp mill in 2011. With the clear strategic objective of establishing an internationally successful dissolving pulp plant, Schweighofer invested a total of €60 million to enable the production of viscose pulp. The new products were first sold at the beginning of 2013. Under the guidance of the Schweighofer Group, Schweighofer Fiber GmbH quickly achieved a successful turnaround, securing 250 jobs. The decision to sell this profitable production site is purely strategic: The company will focus entirely on its core wood processing business.
2019 – The Schweighofer Group renamed the HS Timber Group
The Schweighofer Group is renamed the HS Timber Group in December 2019 together with the relaunch of the brand appearance. The new name is easier to understand and to pronounce for international customers, suppliers and partners. The name change does not affect the ownership and organizational structure or the Group’s independence.