The Romanian company, Italsofa, part of Natuzzi international group, one of the world''s biggest producers of sofas, last year logged turnover worth 225 million RON (almost 63 million euros), an increase of 19% year-on-year. In euros, the rate of growth was even higher, 37% against 2004.
"For this year, we forecast turnover will grow, but since we are listed on the New York Stock Exchange we cannot launch any clear projections in this regard," Francesco Stasolla, the company''s deputy chairman, told ZF Transilvania.
The firm''s officials did not provide any data on profit, an indicator that in 2004 reached the level of 9 million euros, double the value seen in 2003.
The company''s development plans for this year are particularly related to the expansion of production capacities, a project that was launched at the beginning of 2005.
In Baia Mare, the Italians currently have two production facilities that have an area of 65,000 square metres, with the total area of the land the company owns amounting to 200,000 square metres. The Italian group has so far invested approximately 35 million euros in the plant.
"We''ve given up the idea of building a new plant for the moment but have decided to expand the already existing facilities, and if we do not run into problems, by June 2006 we will finalise work for the new production section," the deputy chairman of Italsofa Romania also said.
He chose not to disclose the total value of the investments targeting the new unit or the percentage by which production capacities will advance in the wake of the respective investments.
Stasolla specified, though, that the Baia Mare-based plant currently operates at full capacity and a progressive expansion of current facilities is what the company plans to achieve.
In Baia Mare, Natuzzi only manufactures leather and microfiber sofas, which are 99% exported, mainly to European Union markets.
"So far, we only have one customer on the domestic market, the Bucharest based Linea Mex company. Though Romania is a high potential market, the high export rate will be maintained over the following period, as well because Romanians'' purchasing power is quite low," specified Francesco Stasolla.
To manufacture its products, Natuzzi uses raw materials, 85% of which are acquired from Romanian suppliers, including Kronospan, Euroform or RomSilva.