First quarter sales jumped more than a fifth at major Eastern European furniture manufacturer Forte, which is planning to invest around €17m expanding production.

The Polish firm — whose sales network includes a UK office at Crewe in the North West — grew sales by 21 per cent to 255.8m zloty, about £45m, in the first three months of 2015.

EBITDA climbed 16 per cent to 37.1m zloty, about £6.5m. Exports represented 86 per cent of total sales in the first quarter with Western Europe — the region including its UK business — worth around 43.5m zloty, about £8m.

Forte manufactures and sells inexpensive goods spanning living, dining and bedroom cabinet furniture.

It is planning to invest €17m this year on projects including the construction of a new high-rack warehouse by August and the purchase and installation of additional production lines designed to build production capacity to 7.5m furniture packs.