stresslessAdUK demand for upholstery brand Stressless picked up through 2014 after a slow start, according to its Norwegian owner Ekornes.

The business — best known for its recliners — said FY order receipts were up 1 per cent as “the furniture market evolved in a positive direction.”

Fourth quarter order receipts were 18 per cent ahead of the same period in 2013, it added. Ekornes cautioned that it faced increased competition — perhaps a reference to Natuzzi’s new product line — but said that sales revenue for the year was “somewhat below” 2013.

In October, its wholly owned UK subsidiary reported full year 2013 sales down 4.7 per cent to £20.4m, with profits falling two-thirds to £580k.

Ekornes said UK revenue — converted to Norwegian kroner — totalled NOK 207.1m in the year to end December 2014. At today’s exchange rate (18th Feb, 2015), that works out at around £18m.

The kroner figure is substantially ahead of the NOK 175.3m reported a year ago for 2013, with the kroner having made major gains against sterling in the past 12 months.

Globally, Ekornes reported pre-tax earnings of NOK 248.4m on sales revenue of NOK 2.76bn with the figures impacted by its October 2014 acquisition of IMG Group.