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Furniture and furnishings manufacturer Fuda International says it has further expanded UK upholstery production after rising demand in 2013–14.


Underlying sales* rose 12.9 per cent to £7.6m in the year to end April for the North East firm, which says in the period since it has agreed to lease additional premises as it looks to increase production.


Fuda says the autumn 2013 launch of a small range of upholstered chairs proved successful, prompting it to develop a business plan to set up a factory and design and manufacture a wider range of upholstery. Former Buoyant Upholstery and Bensons for Beds md Bill Carrahar joined the business just under a year ago.


The North Shields producer supplies major retailers with a diverse product offer spanning soft furnishings to occasional furniture.


EBITDA in the reviewed period declined 15 per cent to £119k with the business slipping to a small £21k loss at the pre-tax line, with Fuda saying increased overhead costs and salaries affected margins in the second half of the year.


Its commitment to those costs was showing a benefit in the current financial year, it added, with Fuda forecasting a significant improvement over the next three years as it establishes a presence in supply to the retail upholstery market.


* the underlying sales comparison ignores £86k of revenue from 2012–13 associated with a discontinued, and non-furnishings related, business.