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Larry Thomas

Natuzzi's worldwide sales dip 0.9% despite 22% gain in U.S.

SANTERAMO IN COLLE, Italy — Leather upholstery major Natuzzi said worldwide sales and profits fell in the second quarter, but sales in the U.S. and Canada were significantly above last year's second quarter.

The company said worldwide sales for the quarter ended June 30 totaled 120.3 million euros, or about $154.4 million. That's down 0.9% from 121.4 million euros, or about $155.8 million, in the same quarter in 2011.

The worldwide decline would have been greater without a 22.1% sales increase in the U.S. and a 57.6% increase in Canada, the company said. Sales in Europe, excluding Italy, were off 15.1%, and sales in Italy plunged 29.9%.

Natuzzi didn't provide specific sales figures for the U.S., but said sales in the Americas, which includes North and South America, increased 28.7% to 46.7 million euros, or about $59.9 million.

The worldwide sales decline led to a net loss of 400,000 euros, or about $500,000, in the most recent quarter. In last year's second quarter, Natuzzi recorded a profit of 9.6 million euros, or about $12.3 million.

Results were similar for the first half of the year as worldwide sales fell 4.8% to 230.7 million euros, or about $299.2 million. However, sales in the Americas jumped 27.8% to 81.4 million euros, or about $105.6 million. The company did not provide specific first-half sales figures for the U.S.

First-half sales fell 19% in Europe, excluding Italy, and tumbled 31.5% in Italy, Natuzzi reported.

The company recorded a first-half net loss of 8.8 million euros, or about $11.5 million. That reversed a profit of 6.6 million euros, or about $8.6 million, in the first half of 2011.

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