Caffé Nero remains committed to expansion both in the UK and internationally despite the spectre of global recession.

While acknowledging a likely fall in consumer spending as the UK economy heads into recession, the coffee bar chain today insisted the public would keep buying their “affordable treat”.

Caffé Nero currently operates 393 stores in the UK and abroad, having launched its first international business in a joint-venture in Turkey in October 2007.

Next month it will launch its first outlet in the Middle East in the Dubai Mall shopping centre.

Although the company conceded trading from December to May 2009 would be more challenging than the six months preceding it, it remains bullish, with plans for at least 35 outlets in the UK and abroad.

Gerry Ford, chairman of Caffé Nero, said: “Trading has proved resilient to date with positive like for like sales maintained in the initial months of the current year in spite of weakening consumer outlook.”

Turnover in the year to 31 May increased 19% to £129.3m (2007: £108m). Pre-tax profit jumped 43% to £13.7m (2007: £9.6m).

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By Chris Druce

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