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Review of Activities


How would you sum up 2007?

In a few years, we’ll probably look back at 2007 as a pivotal year for the forest products sector, which, after a difficult period, began to recover. In fact, the year saw two notable events.

First, 2007 was a year of strategic reflection. SGF organized a conference on the sawmill and lumber-processing industries with its partners and the specialist Peter Woodbridge. Our work contributed to the , which was held at the end of the year and inspired the Green Paper tabled by the government early in 2008. Québec is seeing the emergence of an innovative forest management model that, over the long term, may even resolve the softwood lumber dispute with the United States.

In addition, restructuring began in the pulp and paper sector. We can already see the positive impacts of this redeployment, with an increase in the price of products.

How do you see SGF’s portfolio?
We enhanced our portfolio with a very sound $37.5-million investment in Induspac. This investment fits perfectly into our strategic plan, because Induspac is an ultramodern company that offers a wide range of packaging solutions. The company is managed by a solid team that has developed a very dynamic international expansion strategy. We’re very pleased with this investment, whose benefits are already positive.

Generally speaking, the portfolio is performing well. The year’s highlights include the initiatives taken by Kruger Wayagamack to reduce its losses and to position itself for recovery. As for Cascades, it concluded a new and promising European partnership.

"Although some of our portfolio companies are still struggling, we have a great deal of confidence in the potential of the forestry sector."

What does 2008 hold??
We expect 2008 to be a positive year, and we’re analyzing various opportunities in secondary and tertiary processing companies. We’re also still prepared to help consolidate the industry, especially sawmill operations.

Moreover, the strategic review that began with the tabling of the government’s Green Paper will continue, and all industry players will be actively involved in defining the new model. We believe the outlook is very encouraging. We therefore see signs of a recovery.

First, we see the emergence of a new approach to labour relations. In all segments of the industry, employers and unions are working together to improve the competitive capacity and productivity of their companies. One of the results of the strategic review of recent months is the new awareness that a turnaround is contingent on partnership.

Next, the impacts of restructuring are making themselves felt. In newsprint, for example, prices have started to rise again. This firming of prices is essential for the sector’s profitability and the preservation of its jobs. 

Finally, in lumber, we’re hoping for a rapid economic recovery in the United States. We’re focusing on processed products for which the U.S. market offers a positive outlook.

I have a great deal of confidence in the potential of the forest sector. SGF has been a partner of the industry for 40 years. It has remained a partner during difficult periods and it has the financial capability and the expertise to take part in this sector's recovery.


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