Danish furniture design business to accelerate expansion

Furniture design company Bolia, part of the Lars Larsen Group, has reported a hold on market share while accelerating its expansion.

During the last year, Bolia has invested in store expansions, paving the way for future growth, with new stores opened across Europe, as well as in new markets such as Spain and Singapore.

Major investments were also maintained in design and concept development, sustainable initiatives, and digitalization.

The total sales results for 2022/23 landed at 1.3 billion DKK, which is at the same high level as 2021/22, a record year for the company. However, after thirteen consecutive profitable years, the EBIT result for the year 2022/23 stood at -5.6 million DKK compared to 50 million DKK the previous year.

“Our annual result has primarily been negatively affected by a high currency exchange loss due to the weak Norwegian and Swedish currencies and raw material price increases, which we have chosen not to pass on fully to our customers,” Lars Lyse Hansen, the CEO of Bolia International A/S, explains.

In the coming year, Bolia will continue the strong development of its design collection, introduce new sustainable initiatives, and accelerate international expansion. New Bolia concept stores have already been opened at prestigious locations in Leipzig, Dresden, Brussels, and Paris, and store expansion will continue with a focus on Germany, France, and Spain, along with new initiatives for expansion through global agents and dealers.

In addition to this, Bolia will enter a new continent during spring 2024 by opening the first Bolia concept store in Australia, Melbourne.

Elsewhere in the Lars Larsen Group, bed store chain SENG, which changed name from SengeSpecialisten in January 2023, sustains its plans of expansion in Sweden in spite of challenging market conditions.

SENG closes the financial year 2022/23 with a turnover in Denmark of DKK 192.5m and an EBIT-result of DKK -5.7m, which is a decline from last year where the turnover landed at DKK 207m and an EBIT-result of DKK 9.6m. However, this was expected according to CEO of SENG, Hanne Bang Vorre.

“The second half of the financial year has been characterised by a positive development in turnover despite of the extra costs related to our name change, but it has not been enough to fully compensate for the challenges in the market in the first half year,” says Hanne Bang Vorre.

“Therefore, the result was expected in the light of the inflation, the increasing interest rates, high energy prices etc. We are pleased that the development has turned for the better and that our new name and visual identity has been well received by our customers,” she adds.

Hanne Bang Vorre expects an improved result for the coming financial year, which also holds a milestone for SENG.

“In Denmark, I expect us to be able to deliver a positive result next year, while we are expecting another deficit in Sweden – although a smaller one than this year. We are maintaining our focus on rebuilding all our stores to fit the new SENG-concept, so we can get the customers back again,” she says and adds: ”Furthermore, we are celebrating our 25th anniversary in May 2024, which we will of course mark with a great celebration in our stores.”

In Sweden, SENG’s annual accounts were affected by an extraordinary amortization of goodwill of DKK 8.6m and are furthermore characterized by the large investments made by the company in continuation of the acquisition of the Swedish bed store chain, Sängjätten, in 2021.

“In Sweden, we have invested resources in the roll-out of our concept in all our stores and we have also taken over three Swedish franchise stores and incorporated them into our concept as well,” says Hanne Bang Vorre and continues: “This process is cost-intensive, but we will not compromise on having the right concept in every single one of our stores.”

In addition to the investments, the general market situation in Sweden has also affected the annual results but this does not influence the overall ambitions of growth.

“Sweden has been even more affected than Denmark in terms of increased interest rates and inflation and a decline in disposable income for the consumers,” says Hanne Bang Vorre and continues: “But we still believe in the Swedish market and will continue to invest in our business in Sweden.”

The subsidiary to SENG, Sengetid.dk, which is a pure online business, has seen a positive development in EBIT and therefore closes the financial year with a smaller deficit than last year.

“As with SENG, the plan is to expand Sengetid.dk to more countries and we start by launching a Swedish platform under a new name in December 2023,” Hanne Bang Vorre says.

SENG thus closes the financial year 2022/23 with a total turnover for the group of DKK 307.8m and a result before tax of DKK -61.6m.

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