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From Home Furnishing Business

Natuzzi to Lay off 1,700+ in Italy

Leather upholstered furniture maker Natuzzi will lay off 1,700-plus employees in Italy as part of its plan for a return to profitability.

The company seeks, in addition to getting out of the red, to establish the basis for its future growth, safeguarding, to the extent possible, employment levels in the Puglia and Basilicata regions.

The Plan presented to local and national unions in Rome. Puglia and Basilicata had 520 furniture companies in the early 2000s--that number fell to 100 in 2012.

Natuzzi recorded operating losses of 140 million euro from 2007 to 2012, said it must align operations with current demands. That will call for an investment of more than 190 million in product and process innovations, marketing and communications, and the development of Natuzzi Italia points of sale worldwide.

The realignment also involves the layoff of 1,726 employees, of whom 1,580 work in plants and 146 work in services. The company said the move will help to retain the jobs of 2,789 workers, consisting of 1,449 direct employees and approximately 1,340 indirect employees.

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