hulstaShowroomPremium case goods producer Hulsta Furniture says it will continue to follow a path of investing in its own shops and concessions in the UK.

The diversified German producer sells furniture for all rooms of the home as well as running the Now! by Hülsta contemporary brand.

It sells in the UK through third party stockists as well as its own stores and branded concessions in well-known large independent retailers.

In accounts for 2014, it repeated comments made last year that the furniture market here had stagnated since 2008, with no independent investment in the market from the B2B dealer network the Hülsta UK business model was originally founded on.

“Therefore Hülsta UK’s verticalisation strategy with investments in own shops and concessions has to be considered to be the right step to maintain turnover and help develop new business channels,” it said, echoing comments made last year.

Hülsta said an increase in direct business had resulted in a big improvement in gross margin — by 720 basis points to 48.5 per cent — resulting in profits leaping from break-even to £361k.

Sales through 2014 were down 1.9 per cent to £7.6m, mainly due it said to the closures of concessions at Heal’s and Harrods, though its new (late 2013) flagship store in Esher helped compensate.