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Ekornes First Quarter Sales for U.S. and Canada Up 17 Percent

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Ekornes Inc., a Norwegian producer of residential seating, reports that sales for North America were up 17 percent in U.S. dollars for the first quarter. The positive trend seen in the U.S. and Canada in the fourth quarter 2007 continued into the first quarter 2008 compared with the same period last year. “Order receipts in the first quarter were strong, up 40 percent in U.S. currency, due to greater participation in Ekornes products, new promotions and expanded marketing programs,” Peter Bjerregaard, president of Ekornes Inc. told U.S. retailers recently at a factory tour in Sunnmore, Norway. “We’ve found that it’s not that people aren’t buying furniture, it is that they aren’t buying as much furniture unless it’s a product that is all about comfort and improving their quality of life. “Our sales indicate a positive response to our new Jazz chair with its steel base, our innovative sector table and the addition of hot fashion colors to our 54 choices of leather,” he says. “While overall market conditions remain difficult in the U.S. and are better in Canada, we are placing a high priority on expanding our domestic distribution network, supported by intensive marketing activities to reach our full potential in this market.” Companywide, in the first quarter of 2008, the Norwegian company reported receiving orders worth a total of NOK 753 million, compared with NOK 680 million in the same quarter last year. This represents an increase of 10.8 percent. As of March 31, 2008 the company’s order reserve totaled NOK 365 million, compared with NOK 247 million at the same point in 2007. This represents a rise of 48 percent. Order receipts in April 2008 totaled NOK 211 million, compared with NOK 195 million in April 2007. At the end of April 2008 the order reserve totaled NOK 362 million, compared with NOK 239 million last year. Established in 1934 in Sunnmore, Norway, Ekornes is the largest furniture manufacturer in Scandinavia with brand names such as Ekornes, Stressless® and Svane®. Products include Stressless® recliners, sofas, loveseats and accessories; Ekornes Collection sofas; and Svane® mattresses. Known as the Innovators of Comfort™, the company’s Stressless® seating is endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association for proper head and lumbar support. The world-famous Stressless® recliner features a patented system that adjusts automatically, allowing body weight to determine the proper level of support. Products are designed and manufactured at seven factories in Norway and are sold in over 30 countries. Corporate offices in New Jersey serve North America. For more information, visit www.ekornes.com.

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