Sumitomo Forestry NZ, the local unit of the Japanese timber conglomerate, posted a record profit last year after buying the timber plantations of US forestry investor Hancock in 2016 to secure more supply for its wood processing plant. Source: ShareChat NZ The timber company posted a profit of NZ$48.9 million in the year ended 31 December 2017, from a loss of NZ$18.4 million a year earlier when its earnings were hurt by a NZ$62 million reduction in the value of its plantations, according to its latest financial accounts. Sumitomos 2016 accounts included nine months of contribution from Hancocks Tasman Pine Forests which it bought for NZ$369 million. Sumitomos NZ forests were valued at about NZ$310 million in 2017, up from NZ$296 million in 2016 and just NZ$24 million in 2015, its accounts showed. Sumitomo set up wood processor Nelson Pine Industries outside of Richmond, near Nelson, some three decades ago. The plant is one of the worlds largest single-site medium-density fibreboard (MDF) makers, most of which is exported under the GoldenEdge brand, and it also manufactures laminated veneer lumber (LVL). The company already had about 5000 hectares of forest and the Hancock purchase gave it freehold interest in about 20,437 hectares of forest land and leasehold interest in about 155 hectares of forest land in the Nelson/Tasman region. For Sumitomo, securing supply of wood helped shore up its existing investment in manufacturing at a time when increased demand from China has been pushing up the price of logs and prompting many forest owners to ship their raw logs to Asias largest economy. Globally, wood is seeing somewhat of a resurgence, and Sumitomo is jumping on the trend, announcing plans earlier this year to build the worlds tallest wooden skyscraper, dubbed the W350, in Tokyo. The planned 70-storey building will be a hybrid of mostly wood and steel and will include stores, offices, hotels and private homes. The companys New Zealand unit didnt pay a dividend to its parent this year, or last year, according to its accounts. They show the last dividend payment of NZ$46.5 million was paid in the 2015 financial year.