UK sales up at Norwegian sofa manufacturer

Norwegian furniture manufacturer Ekornes, owner of the Stressless brand, has reported a strong first quarter with UK market performing well.

According to its latest trading update for Q1 2022, total group sales rose 43% to NOK 1 487 million, with Ekornes experiencing ‘strong sales’ across all markets, including Stressless – up by 49% to NOK 1 106 million.

Group earnings before tax for the quarter ended at NOK 163 million (111), driven by higher sales and improved capacity utilisation.

The company said: “Persisting demand for Ekornes’ products and high-capacity utilisation lifted revenues and earnings to record-high levels in the first quarter 2022. The strong market momentum from 2021 continued into the first quarter of 2022, with Stressless® experiencing strong growth in key markets, particularly in Central Europe and the UK.”

UK and Ireland sales resulted at NOK 112.0m (£9.5m), up 131% from NOK 48.7m (£4.1m) against the same quarter period last year.

“Compared to the corresponding period last year, the European markets benefitted from totally reopening and no Covid-19 related restrictions as was the case for large parts of 2021. Although competition was tough, Stressless® achieved an increased market share in Europe,” the company added.

“Recliners are performing well in the European markets, proven by the successful launch of Stressless® Rome during the quarter. Sales of sofas meanwhile are challenging, as a more labour-intensive production results in longer than desired lead times.

“To optimise production efficiency and reduce lead times for sofas, Stressless® has utilised production capacity at IMG’s facility in Lithuania for the labour- intensive and time-consuming processes such as assembly of sofas. The higher capacity supported reliable deliveries of Stressless® in the quarter.”

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