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htlSofaLeather upholstery giant HTL made the most of strong trading in Europe and foreign exchange gains to double profits in 2014.


The Singapore headquartered sofa manufacturer — which has factories across the Far East — said sales to Europe, including the UK, climbed 4.6 per cent to $224.2m (c.£145m) through December.


HTL said sales were achieved at higher average selling prices through total performance worldwide was impacted by lower sales to North America (-28pc to $99m) and weaker Japanese and Australian currency against the US dollar.


That left total year to end December sales down sales down 6.3 per cent to $500.6m. Despite higher average selling prices, rising input costs impacted gross margin which declined 70 basis points to 30.6 per cent.


However, overall foreign exchange gains made the difference to HTL’s bottom line. It made an operating loss before foreign exchange gain of $2.4m, having made $7.1m in 2013. A forex gain of $13.2m meant pre-tax earnings more than doubled to $10.8m.