arighi-bianchi-coIconic North West furniture independent Arighi Bianchi posted its highest earnings in seven years as sales climbed again in 2013–14.

Sales rose 3.2 per cent to £15.5m in the year to end March for the Macclesfield based retailer, building on 17 per cent growth in 2012–13.

Gross margin was up 190 basis points to 39.8 per cent, which helped the privately owned business in turning around its £30k deficit of the year before to make £487k at the pre-tax line.

That was the strongest profits have been since 2006–07.

The heritage independent — which can trace its roots over 150 years and whose glass-fronted Silk Road showrooms are among the most revered in the industry — generated a net £1m cash from operations, and £663k overall, to lift year-end net cash to £2m (2013: £1.3m).

Arighi Bianchi also paid tribute to retiring director Anthony Bianchi after 60 years of service, and welcomed Sarah Bianchi to its board last October.

* Latest year figures taken from the accounts of Arighi Bianchi Holdings, which was incorporated in 2012 as part of a reorganisation of the retailer’s structure. Prior year references are from the accounts of its trading subsidiary Arighi Bianchi & Co.