Natuzzi counts on 84m-euro sales

Autor: Anca Rif, ZF Transilvania 10.04.2007
Italsofa Romania, part of Natuzzi international group, one of the world's biggest sofa producers, expects to derive a turnover of approximately 84 million euros this year, an increase of more than 10% against 2006.
Last year, the company completed its project related to the expansion of its production capacities, which began in early 2005, with total investments amounting to more than 2.5 million euros last year. "We've given up the idea of building a new plant for the time being and have instead decided to expand the existing facilities," Francesco Stasolla, vice-president of the company, told ZF Transilvania.
The company's representatives chose not to specify the percentage by which production capacities will increase in the wake of this investment. How ever, according to its management, the plant in Baia Mare currently operates at full capacity and the company pursues a gradual expansion of its current facilities. The Italian group has invested over 35 million euros in this plant so far. Last year, the company reported a turnover worth 76.3m euros (267m RON), compared with 62.4m euros in 2005, when Natuzzi's business advanced by 30% from 2004. In 2005, Italsofa Romania's net income amounted to 10.1m euros, an increase from the 9m euros it generated in 2004.
The Italians currently own two production facilities in Baia Mare with an area of over 65,000 square metres and a daily production capacity of around 2,300 seats (the gauge used to calculate sales of sofas). The total area of the land owned by the company is 200,000 square metres. In Baia Mare, Natuzzi exclusively manufactures leather and microfibre sofas - 99% of which are primarily exported to EU markets.
At present Italsofa, works with a single customer on the domestic market - the Linea Mex company. According to Stasolla, the export make-up will remain unchanged in the next period, though the Italian group may enter the Romanian retail market, too. Natuzzi buys 85% of the amount of raw material used for its products from Romanian suppliers including Kronospan, Euroform or RomSilva. The rest of materials are imported from Italy, with Gruppo Frati being one of the main suppliers.
The Natuzzi group has 25 plants, of which 21 are in Italy, 2 in Brazil, one in China and one in Romania. The group generates annual sales of around 900 million euros and has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1993.
In Romania, beside sofa production, Natuzzi also operates in the sector of log and wood processing. At present 1,400 employees work in the plant of Baia Mare, with their number increasing after the completion of the expansion project. The main domestic players on the furniture market are Mobexpert and Elvila, while international groups present in Romania include Ikea, who has partnerships with more than 10 domestic furniture plants.

Italsofa Romania
Part of international group Natuzzi, one of the world's biggest producers of sofas
Budgeted a turnover worth around 84m euros this year, up more than 10% from last year
Last year finalised a project related to the expansion of production capacities that was initiated in early 2005
Has so far invested more than 35m euros in the plant of Satu Mare
Reported a 76.3m-euros turnover last year, from 62.4m euros in 2005
Exclusively produces leather and microfibre sofas