Demand in the UK and Italy was strong for Natuzzi in the first six months of 2015 as the upholstery producer made the most of more efficient production to narrow losses.

The sofa company posted an EBITDA deficit of €2.3m, an improvement on the €13.9m figure for the first half of 2013–14, and cut its interim pre-tax loss in half to €12.9m.

Its improvement was driven by higher global sales — up 14.5 per cent — but also by introducing lean production methods across its international factories.

Gross margin climbed 310 basis points to 30.2 per cent year-on-year.

Worldwide sales across all product groups reached €241.7m with Natuzzi brand* upholstery sales up by 8.8 per cent to €150.5m and private label upholstery sales up 31.7 per cent to €65.7m.

Its EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region rose 8 per cent over the half with private label (+46.9 per cent) delivering all the growth. Though Natuzzi brand sales in EMEA were down 1.8 per cent, the company said it was worth highlighting the good performance of the UK and Italian markets.

* Natuzzi brand sales includes the group's Natuzzi Italia, Natuzzi Editions and Natuzzi Re-Vive marques