Schweighofer Prize 2018

The Schweighofer family

from a small sawmill to European market leader

Location: Waldviertel, the forest district in northern Austria. Actually, the name suggests that a business set up here ought to be based on wood. It is in fact a family's story of success who reached the top of the European wood milling industry over generations.

It started in a small town named Brand in Austria's Waldviertel more than 400 years ago, when eleven mills were situated at the local riverside. One of them was the "Furtmühle", the core of the later parent plant of the Schweighofer wood processing mills. In 1642 the name Schweighofer was mentioned as owner of the "Furtmühle" and the sawmill for the first time.

In 1956 Franz and Maria Schweighofer took over the management of the sawmill in Brand with only three employees and an annual sawing output of 1,000 cubic meters. Considerable personal commitment resulted in increasing productivity and raising capacities. The main factor of success was the use of innovative technology, which Gerald Schweighofer, who joined his parents' business in 1975, always put particular emphasis on. Thus, in 1977 the first profiling line in the world was started in Brand. Opening Europe's largest and best equipped sawmill located in Ybbs with own docks at the river Danube was another milestone for the Schweighofer company's enormous upswing. In 1991 followed the take-over of the Sollenau sawmill south of Vienna. At this time, the annual sawing output already exceeded one million cubic meters.
In 1995 Schweighofer acquired the largest sawmill in the Czech Republic in Zdirec, added by a second mill in Plana. In 1997 Schweighofer assumed control of the largest sawmill in southern Austria. At that time, the Schweighofer company owned six wood processing plants employing 1,300 persons, about 900 of them in Austria, with an annual sawing output of over three million cubic meters.

As a result of an extremely successful expansion strategy Gerald Schweighofer was able to strengthen the leading position of the Schweighofer Company on the European market.

In October 1998 the Schweighofer Company merged with Stora Enso Timber and became the second largest timber processor in the World. In October 8, 2001, the Schweighofer family sold all its shares to Stora Enso Timber and is now actively involved both in international real estates affairs and new projects concerning modern wood processing in the Eastern European countries.

If you are interested in the actual activities of Schweighofer Company, see:

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