British retailers and importers bought less upholstery from overseas in February with China — the biggest source nation — behind much of the fall.

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An IPO could boost the value and earnings of its British sofa businesses. Image: TCM Corp.
The Thai owner of sofa makers Ashley Manor, Alexander & James and Alstons is considering a UK stock market listing for its British upholstery division.

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Sofa.com has expanded its store network in places such as Edinburgh, above
The lender that helped finance the 2015 private equity takeover of Sofa.com has taken ownership of the clicks-to-bricks upholstery vertical, The Furnishing Report can reveal.

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Natuzzi is investing heavily transforming itself "into a retail-oriented company"
A series of one-off items contributed to Natuzzi reporting a €29.3 million pretax loss for 2017. Its UK business, however, is expanding nicely.

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Parker Knoll moved to its new factory in the spring of 2016
Efficiency gains from its new factory helped boost profits at heritage upholstery maker Parker Knoll in 2016–17.

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Scope for more than 70 Sofology stores across Britain, says DFS
DFS says it sees the scope for another thirty Sofology stores across the country after it acquired its one-time rival last year. It also said it will likely close a number of legacy DFS stores this year.

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DFS' acquisition of Sofology could cost it up to £105m, dependent on performance
Sofology is not performing at a level that would be enough to trigger a further payment, DFS forecast today as it released half-year numbers for 2017–18.

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DFS half-year profits were down 58%, though it expects full-year improvement
DFS interim profits fell 58 percent though CEO Ian Filby said improving metrics meant the UK's biggest sofa chain was confident of full-year earnings growth.

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The company behind the Kuka brand is investing €65 million and will own 51 percent of the joint venture
Upholstery giant Natuzzi has formalised an earlier-announced deal that will see Kuka invest in a joint venture that expands the Italian brand in Greater China.

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Export wins in Singapore should be worth £1m to Tetrad over the next year
Sofa maker Tetrad landed container orders from customers in more than half a dozen Far East countries as it exhibited in Singapore for the first time last week.

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Late February snowfall hit orders at the UK's second largest sofa retailer
ScS half-year profits climbed on wider margins and a skinny sales uplift. The second half has started weaker because of the weather.

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Chinese sofa imports into Britain were fractionally down in January
Upholstery shipments to the UK climbed at the start of 2018 driven by a rise in the value of imports from Poland.

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The deal will support Rolf Benz in the Far East; Image: Rolf Benz
Chinese furniture group Kuka Home has agreed to buy Rolf Benz as it assembles a roster of high-value European brands to bolster its market share in the Far East.

The price of Kidderminster sofa maker Wyvern Furniture has been disclosed for the first time since it was sold at the back end of 2015.

The chairman of Ultra Furniture says its Midlands sofa factory is purring again after it hit rock bottom in 2016, with the company at one stage making fewer than 90 suites a week.

La-Z-Boy has agreed a new manufacturing tie-up in Eastern Europe. It says this will not impact its current UK sourcing arrangements.

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J&S Upholstery produced John Sankey and Henderson Russell products under license
The family and management behind the John Sankey and Henderson Russell brands have taken steps to secure long term production after a supply relationship broke down.

Full year UK and Ireland sales gained 6.3 percent for Stressless brand owner Ekornes after it posted double-digit gains in the second half of 2017.

Launching into the independent retail market can have a transformative effect on Siren Furniture, according to the upholstery supplier's incoming sales director.

The owner of showwood upholstery maker Relax Seating says a restructure of the business has left "no customers or suppliers let down in any way."

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Full sofa imports advanced 0.8% year-on-year in 2017
Sofa makers in Poland and China made most headway as upholstery imports into Britain inched upwards over the 2017 calendar year.

An East Midlands upholstery retail business employing 40 people and trading under multiple names has been fined following a prosecution brought by Leicestershire County Council Trading Standards.

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FindASofa.com is launching this month
An entrepreneur with experience working with DFS and Bensons has launched FindASofa.com, which aims to help consumers find and compare upholstery from all UK retailers on a single website.

South Coast sofa maker B&S Upholstery has agreed an unspecified funding arrangement through Pulse Cashflow Finance, Companies House filings reveal.

Profits fell for a third straight year at Sherborne Upholstery as the manufacturer bore higher input costs. Sales rose at their fastest rate in four years.

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A still from La-Z-Boy UK's new consumer TV ad campaign, which launches today (Feb. 1, 2018)
Upholstery source La-Z-Boy UK will launch its new consumer television advertising campaign today as part of its plan to build awareness and realign customers' perception of the brand.

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ScS grew like-for-like order intake 2.2% in the 26 weeks to Jan. 27, 2018
ScS, Britain's second largest sofa specialist, said half-year sales order intake climbed like-for-like thanks to growth across its core business. Its House of Fraser concessions declined.

London based premium upholstery vertical The Sofa & Chair Co. reported a seven-figure loss in a year that saw it sell property to settle third party investment.

North West fabrics company Fryetts shrugged off lower revenue to grow profits in high single-digits in 2016–17.

Sofa maker ACL 2002 — which does most of its business with national upholstery and carpet specialist ScS — posted record sales again in 2016–17. Profits also climbed.

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John Lewis Welwyn Garden City is among the locations to sell Natuzzi Editions ranges
Natuzzi, whose tie-up with John Lewis was revealed by The Furnishing Report last November, has disclosed the seven locations where its products are to be sold.

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Sofa imports from China grew at twice the annual run-rate according to the latest figures released by HM Revenue & Customs
Sofa imports declined in November despite a rise in the value of shipments from Britain's two largest upholstery trading partners.

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Natuzzi and Kuka to sign historic deal that will see the Natuzzi brand expanded in Greater China
Natuzzi is planning a joint venture with Kuka that will see the latter build and manage the Italian sofa brand's existing and future retail network in Greater China.

The South Coast sofa factory that formerly traded as Collins & Hayes repaid its £2 million debt to its parent company in the months ahead of an insolvent restructure over the new year.

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Wesley Barrell trades from 14 stores nationwide
The taxman will refrain from trying to recover funds from Wesley Barrell until the business has the resources to pay, according to just-filed accounts for the 14-store chain.

Motion furniture supplier Man Wah Holdings has announced deals to acquire a number of component and recliner factories, strengthening its supply chain in China.

Motion furniture maker La-Z-Boy, Inc. has agreed to pay $13.5 million (£10m) to settle a civil lawsuit filed by a company that claimed it was owed royalties for components.

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Matt Hudson, chief executive of The Lounge Co, will take on additional responsibility for Melksham based G Plan
Stephanie Hildon, chief executive of G Plan, has resigned and will leave the company at the end of January next year. Her replacement is the chief executive of sister company The Lounge Co.

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Billy & Slouch will launch at the NEC next month
Billy & Slouch is the new name for the former Collins & Hayes business in Hastings. The sofa maker will relaunch at the NEC next month with ranges created by one of its most successful past designers.

With three months of the year to report, the Thai owner of Alstons, Ashley Manor and Alexander & James looks primed to generate nine-figure combined sofa sales in 2017.

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