Tough trading conditions didn't prevent Stressless sales growing here in the first half of 2018
Half-year U.K. and Ireland revenues were up almost double-digit for Stressless brand owner Ekornes as the recliner and other furniture maker shrugged off weak market conditions here.


The business — whose planned takeover by Chinese furniture giant Qumei Home Furnishings Group was announced late May (see related) — grew U.K. and Ireland sales by 7.0 percent* to £4.6 million in the three months to end June.

That brought half-year U.K. and Ireland sales to £9.8 million, up 9.7 percent compared with the first six months of 2017.

Ekornes said its U.K. business did well against the backdrop of weak developments in the retail sector. It also said its IMG business here grew well though volumes remain modest.

Its Stressless Dining programme, comprising dining tables and chairs, has been introduced into the U.K. and other selected European markets. While it had been well received in Scandinavia — particularly Norway and Denmark — Ekornes said its reception elsewhere in Europe was "somewhat cooler," without providing further detail on specific territories

Having introduced the range to American dealers, it now plans to show the collection to U.S. consumers for the first time this autumn.

Worldwide half-year revenue for Ekornes advanced 3.8 percent to 1.63 billion Norwegian kroner, aided by foreign exchange movements, with net earnings near doubling to 200.2m kr.

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* Q2 percentage comp. based on rounded sales figure provided by Ekornes; H1 comp. based on exact y/y sales figure