• Larry Thomas

Natuzzi slashes Q1 loss despite sales decline

Production improvements, lower leather costs help bottom line

SANTERAMO IN COLLE, Italy — Leather upholstery major Natuzzi said worldwide sales slipped 1.5% in the quarter ended March 31, but the Italian company slashed its net loss to 200,000 euros, or about $223,000.

The company said recent production improvements at its factories and a reduction in raw materials costs — particularly leather — led to the improved bottom line.

Worldwide sales totaled 120.7 million euros, or about $134.4 million. That was down from 122.6 million euros, or about $136.5 million, in last year’s first quarter.

Last year’s first-quarter loss totaled 9.8 million euros, or about $10.91 million.

The company’s gross margin improved to 34.3% from 29.4% in the first quarter of 2016.

Natuzzi didn’t break out sales for the U.S. market, but noted that the United States, China, Germany, Belgium and Spain are “key markets for the development of the retail business.”

The company said 10 new retail stores, including five in China, were opened during the quarter.

Larry ThomasLarry Thomas | News Editor, Furniture Today

Hi, I'm Larry Thomas, news editor of Furniture/Today. Since joining the staff in 1989, I’ve written about topics ranging from wicker chairs to proxy battles at public companies. In my new post as news editor, I oversee the news coverage for both the print edition and furnituretoday.com. I look forward to discussing key industry issues in this forum, and I welcome your thoughts and opinions.

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