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Restructured Teka back for more

Three months since instituting a new management corps at its headquarters in Brazil, Teka came to market with slimmer assortments — but also with new products and strong expectations to make a full turnaround within the next two years.

Reimund Manneck, vp, said, that over the past year and a half the company started to expand "very rapidly in product and production to almost six times larger than we were."

But because of shifts in Brazil's exchange and interest rates, the company found itself experiencing serious financial troubles.

"We over-extended ourselves and couldn't keep up," Manneck said. "To get up again we had to restructure our offices."

That effort translated to the recent shuttering of the company's South Florida offices, where Teka had five employees, and the temporary suspension of some programs, including some bath towel constructions and all bedding and kitchen towels and as a result, some customers, Manneck explained.

Family run for 77 years, in June the manufacturer brought in an outsider to steer the firm. Arnim Lore, whose resumé includes executive positions at Unibanco, Petrobras, the Central Bank of Brazil, Villares and Varig, is ceo.

Today, Teka has in its U.S. division three full-time employees — Manneck; an accountant; and an independent sales representative — based here at its showroom at 295 Fifth Ave.

The company seems to still be accommodating its terry robes and bath and beach towel product lines at its 3,500-square-foot U.S. showroom, which Teka moved into less than a year ago. Only two-thirds of the showroom is currently in use.

During the September market, Teka reintroduced 100 percent cotton jacquard sculpted and yarn-dyed bath towels — one of the programs Teka had suspended earlier as part of the restructuring effort. Soon it will also introduce a line of beach towels for next year.

The current line includes these offerings as well as terry robes and beach and bath towels that are jacquard, sculpted, fiber reactive prints, velour and loop terries.

The company also expects to bring back bedding and kitchen towels through licensed partnerships, but strictly for other suppliers.

"Things are picking up again. We went through several difficult months, but we're optimistic now," Manneck said. "We expect to make sea changes in the next year and recoup all we had before within the next two years."

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