htlRevenue growth in Europe slowed at Far East leather source HTL in the first quarter of 2015 after having accelerated throughout last year.

First quarter core sofa sales in Europe — HTL’s biggest market — were up 1.2 per cent to $50.3m in the three months to end March, against weak comps (-10.1pc) for the same period a year ago.

That represented a sharp slowdown on 2014 when sales growth in European markets increased progressively throughout the year.

Despite being down double-digit after Q1 last year , HTL improved to be up 1 per cent at the half-year stage; by 3.3 per cent after nine months; and by 4.6 per cent to $224.2m over the full 12 months to end December 2014.

The UK is thought to represent a sizeable proportion of HTL’s revenue in Europe. Though up only fractionally in the first three months of this year, it still represented a stronger performance than in other key markets worldwide.

The Singapore headquartered producer said core sofa sales in North America were down 25.4 per cent at $22.9m and by 26 per cent to $13.4m in Asia. Revenues in Australia and New Zealand rose 4.7 per cent to $17.1m. Combined, total Sofa Business Unit sales were down 9.8pc to $105m.