natuzziCroydonHigh sales growth at key London stores helped sofa giant Natuzzi shrug off the impact of a number of department store concession closures last year.

The southern Italian upholstery firm’s British retail subsidiary delivered 14.2 per cent sales growth to £10.9m in the year to end December.

That was achieved despite the February closures of House of Fraser concessions at Belfast, Lakeside and Nottingham and the April closure of its Harrods concession.

Natuzzi said a high opening order position—following strong demand at the tail end of 2013—helped delivered sales to excellent full year growth, along with a 26 per cent underlying improvement in remaining stores.

London proved a particular boon for the Santeramo-in-Colle headquartered manufacturer and retailer, with its Croydon showroom up 40 per cent; its Finchley Road store up 30 per cent; and its flagship Tottenham Court Road site growing sales by a quarter.

Natuzzi said sales across its remaining House of Fraser concessions had also performed strongly, rising 23 per cent on 2013, with notable improvement at Bluewater, Guildford and Oxford Street.

The business narrowed its operating deficit to £1.8m (2013: £2.7m) off the back of the sales improvement as well as with lower admin costs as it rationalised some head office expenses, offset by rising costs associated with relocating its main warehouse to East London.

* all figures from accounts of Natuzzi’s UK retail and concession business; doesn’t include sales to retail stockists or third parties