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One of the standout quotes from TCM Corp's 2017 results was that in buying DM Midlands, the holding company for Ashley Manor and Alexander & James, it said it had "become the number one sofa manufacturer and distributor in England."


That phrase might raise eyebrows in certain factories around the country, who might also claim market leadership.


The Thai company said its TCM Living unit — the name it has given to its British sofa production and distribution business which also includes the Alstons business it bought in 2015 — generated 2017 sales of 4.65 billion Thai Baht, equivalent to around £105 million at current exchange rates.


That would put it ahead of Sofa Brands International, owner of G Plan, Parker Knoll and Duresta, which generated year-to-June 30, 2017 revenue of £81.1 million.


However, with Belfield — owner of North Wales sofa maker Westbridge — acquiring Tetrad last summer, it will surely have been trading at at least the level of TCM in 2017?


2017 numbers for Westbridge and Tetrad are not yet in the public domain but 2016* figures show combined sales of just over £106 million.


Without up-to-date figures, or a precise sterling total for TCM Living, both organisations could legitimately have a claim on market leadership by revenue.


What we do know following the publication of TCM's results is that the Thai owner has an internationalist idea of how its British brands might move forward.


It says it has "projects to expand overseas markets in countries other than England, such as the Middle East and Asia, with more focus on the Chinese and Thai markets."


TCM said that having "studied and experimented in the market for a year it had a clearer view of the business model", adding that it had created a dedicated sales team specifically for accessing the Asian market.


RelatedAlstons, Ashley Manor owner explores IPO for UK sofa division


* includes Tetrad (£15.7m) figures for year to April 28, 2017 and Westbridge (£90.5m) for year to December 31, 2016

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