Novita Communications, the PR firm for Sant'Agostino. has released a statement on the manufacturer which was severely impacted by a powerful earthquake in Italy. The statement follows in full:

"As some of you may know, there was a strong earthquake in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy this past weekend that has left several dead and thousands homeless.

"It saddens us to tell you that one of our companies, Sant'Agostino, is among those who have suffered a terrible loss. Two of their workers, Nicholas Cavicchi and Leonardo Ansaloni, died in the Sant'Agostino factory when the building collapsed early Sunday morning. In addition, the company's automated warehouse and monocottura production facility were left damaged.

"Ceramica Sant'Agostino is a third-generation business, which was set up in 1964 in the Province of Ferrara in the Emilia-Romagna region (about 35 km north of Bologna). It's been 800 years since an earthquake of this magnitude has affected the region.

"Sant'Agostino received a visit from the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti, who has promised to help small-scale businesses, especially factories and farms, in the region. The government has approved temporary tax relief to owners of property damaged from the earthquake and $64 million in emergency funds have been made available for use by the national Civil Protection Agency providing quake assistance.

"Sant'Agostino is still accessing the damages on the whole plant but hopes that many of their problems can be resolved in the next few weeks and remains optimistic about the future of the company."