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Italy based furniture producer, Natuzzi, has reported a 1.5% dip in sales in the first-quarter of 2016, but a significant improvement in gross margins, due primarily to plants streamlining and the reduction of raw material costs, in particular leather.
According to Natuzzi, the first-quarter 2016 results have continued to build upon the improving margins of previous quarters. Worldwide sales totalled €120.7 million, down from €122.6 million in the first-quarter of 2015.
Revenue contracted slightly in the period (-1.5%), with Natuzzi brand sales accounting for 71% of core Group revenue. The Retail expansion of the Natuzzi brand continued, with the opening of 10 new sales points, of which 5 in China; a key market that reported a 11.5% growth in the first three months of 2016.
The UK market grew 7.2% and now is the second largest for Natuzzi after the U.S.
“Leveraging on the existing distribution network and brand awareness, we saw positive performance for Germany, Belgium and Spain, confirming Western Europe, together with China and the U.S, as key markets for the development of the retail business. The American market still presents significant potential for expansion, where we have invested in hiring three new managers with proven retail experience”, said Pasquale Natuzzi, Chairman and CEO, Natuzzi.
Sales of Softaly (Private Label) represented 29% of core Group sales in the first three months of 2016, seeing growth in the EMEA region (+15.1%), in particular in the UK and Germany.
The company reported an improved gross margin of 34.3%, compared with 29.4% a year earlier, thanks primarily to plants streamlining and the reduction of raw material costs, in particular leather.
EBITDA reported a profit of €4.3 million, compared to a loss of €1.4 million in Q1 2015. EBIT also performed in a positive way, improving from a loss of €4.9 million in Q1 2015 to a profit of €1.1 million in Q1 2016, with the Group’s net result also improving to a loss of €0.2 million, from -€9.8 million in Q1 2015.