Bene lowers losses as turnover slumps

Office furniture specialist Bene AG has managed to reduce its losses.The company, which is based in the Lower Austrian town of Waidhofen an der Ybbs, said today (Weds) it suffered losses of 8.7 million Euros in the third quarter of the 2010/2011 business year, down by 100,000 Euros year on year.Bene’s turnover declined from 135 million Euros in the third quarter of the past business year to 120.3 million Euros in the same period of the current business year.Bene was badly hit by a decline in business activities in Russia where its turnover dropped by 45.4 per cent to 11 million Euros in the first three quarters. The company also struggled in Germany where its turnover shrunk by 18.5 per cent to 30.9 million Euros. Bene’s performance in Austria however improved as turnover rose by 2.1 per cent to 40.8 million Euros year on year.Its executive board said it expected the company’s annual performance to be in the red “despite a slow recovery of the market”.The firm had 1,278 employees on 31 October, down from 1,295 on the same day last year.Reinhold Süßenbacher, head of Austrian wood-processing company Umdasch joined Bene’s supervisory board in June. The businessmen and Bene executive chiefs agreed on a five-year term.Bene, which has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange’s (WBAG) prime market since 2006, is headed by Frank Wiegmann, Roland Marouschek and Thomas Bene.The company is currently represented in 39 European countries. It announced plans to start cooperating with Danish furniture maker Designoffice last March. The decision is considered to be an attempt to increase its presence in Scandinavia.