Italian leather specialist Natuzzi has announced a return to EBITDA profit for the first half-year 2016 figures, as ‘plant streamlining’ and lower material costs contributed to the positive performance.
According to Natuzzi’s Half-Year 2016 consolidated results for the six months ended 30 June 2016, EBITDA was resulted at €6.7m, compared to a loss of €2.3m in the same period of the previous year.
Natuzzi chief financial officer Vittorio Notarpietro revealed that gross margin on sales improved by 4.1 percentage points to 34.3% on the first half of 2015, due ‘primarily to plants streamlining and to the reduction of raw material costs, in particular leather’.
Vittorio added: “EBIT also performed in a positive way, improving from a loss of €9.4m in the first half of 2015 to a profit of €0.3m this year, with the group Net Result therefore also improving to a loss of €-1.1m, from €-13.3m in the first half of 2015.”
Total sales fell 4.6% to €230.6m during the six month period, as the upholstery and other sales categories saw a reduction by 4.3% and 14.3% respectively. However, furnishings sales did rise by 2.9% to €12.3m compared to the same period last year.
Natuzzi highlighted that its expansion into direct retail sales has been ‘encouraging’ and plans to continue with its ‘aggressive’ rollout programme, which has seen the company open 27 new selling points since the start of 2016.
Leveraging on the existing distribution network and brand awareness, the Company saw positive performance in Northern Europe (Belgium, Holland and Sweden) and Spain, confirming Western Europe and the United States as key markets for the development of the Retail business.
Chairman and CEO Pasquale Natuzzi stated: “The first half results for 2016 began to show improvement in our business in a number of areas. We have been able to recover our margins, which speaks well to the value of our brand. Our new organization is in place and we are excited for our new strategy to begin to produce value for our shareholders.
“At the end of July we announced the new structure in support of the Group’s growth strategy which, on one hand, seeks to consolidate and boost the Natuzzi brand positioning globally, and on the other, will favour the growth of Softaly, the Group’s dedicated private label business division.
“The main objective of the new Natuzzi division is to launch the new retail business model, focused on boosting growth through an extended and re-balanced product offer, a wider consumer target and a new high traffic retail format.”