Higher sales and average order values helped Home24 — which claims to be Europe’s largest Internet furniture retailer — move closer to profit in the first half of 2014.

The Germany based retailer posted a half year EBITDA deficit of €14.4m (FY 2013: €37.9m) as six month total orders climbed 43 per cent to €69.1m. Delivered sales climbed to €59.4m.

Home24 operates across pan-European markets which — besides Germany — includes Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium. It also owns the UK Home24 web property but is yet to launch here.

Gross margin was up 260 basis points to 41.6 per cent* while average order values rose from €179.60 at the half year stage in 2013 to €186.80 by the end of June this year.

Total active customers — which it defines as anyone making a purchase in the past 12 months — were up 38 per cent to 510,000 people.

The ecommerce firm’s recent strategy has seen it focussed more on own-brands, and since the period end it has another in the shape of Smood, its exclusive mattress programme.

Home24 has been heavily backed by the investment community, with Swedish finance house Kinnevik among its owners. Kinnevik’s other interests include the lifestyle retailer Westwing (see related).

* gross margin compares HY 2014 with FY 2013

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