By Martin Clark

After delays to some of its expansion projects in the past year or so, there have been some frustrations among watchers of the London AIM-listed groupThe company’s eco-friendly, high-performance products are used in a variety of settings such as windows, doors, cladding and decking across the world, and are in demand in markets from Europe to North America.

Accsys recently launched a new UK national advertising campaign, ‘Lasts a Lifetime’, highlighting the high performance of its Accoya wood to homeowners. But new capacity increases are a key element in its long-term expansion plans as it seeks to tap into the growing sustainable construction market worldwide. There have been serious snags along the way, however.

Its Tricoya (Hull) plant is currently in an at least six-month hold period, starting from November 2022, while the board assesses the economics and capability of the site and its potential return on investment. The plant was originally expected to start operations back in 2019.There is better news elsewhere, with the Accoya (Arnhem) plant R4 expansion commencing commercial operations last September and performing well, with production now ramping up. Construction of a new 43,000m3 plant from its Accoya USA joint venture is also on track and due to start operations by March 2024.

These are all challenges that will face the new leadership team that is now taking shape at the company, with Dr Jelena Arsic van Os of the Netherlands set to take over as chief executive with effect from 1 July, 2023 at the latest.She will replace former CEO Rob Harris who left his post on 31 March, 2023. The new CEO has over 20 years’ experience in senior executive roles in large-cap multinationals and is currently at Imerys SA, a leader in mineral-based specialty solutions with a strong footprint in sustainable construction, and previously worked for 17 years with AkzoNobel. Upon her appointment becoming effective,

Stephen Odell will step down as executive chair and revert to his position as an independent chair of the board. Odell called it a “great fit for Accsys” with the new CEO “well qualified to lead the business into the next phase of growth as we continue with our mission of changing wood, to change the world.”8ning the team in the newly-created role of group manufacturing and projects director is Stephen Cox, who will oversee Accsys’ global manufacturing sites and projects and support expansion plans.

It is a crucial role at a crucial time. Cox will be central to the company’s ambitious growth targets to expand capacity and meet demand for Accsys’ products and further develop a global reach. In April, Steven Salo, a chartered accountant, was also appointed as the group’s new chief financial officer.

Investors will no doubt hope that the new-look team can advance Accsys Technologies’ project plans and deliver some of the company’s undoubted potential. In its last trading update, for the nine months ending 31 December 2022, released at the end of January this year, the company recorded strong revenues growth and a reduction in debt compared to the same period a year before.

At the time, former CEO Rob Harris said he remained confident in the resilience of orders and demand for both its market-leading products, Accoya and Tricoya, even in the face of ongoing global economic uncertainty. The new marketing drive, which launched with a commercial on Sky TV and is supported by digital ads running through the spring months, should further raise awareness of the brand in the UK market.

George Neel, Accsys’ communications, marketing and ESG director, said: “We want to ensure homeowners understand the durability and reliability benefits of Accoya and know that it lasts a lifetime.The product is a great fit for a market hungry for sustainable solutions, the real test now is to capitalise on these opportunities, which will require focus, effort and determination — as well as patience from investors