Caffè Nero has announced it is back on the expansion trail after seeing an uptick in sales this year.
Chief executive Gerry Ford said the coffee chain was "on the road to recovery" following 11 months of positive cashflow with "dozens" of new stores planned for the next 12 months.
Caffè Nero, which has more than 650 UK sites, turned to a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in late 2020 after Ford described the pandemic as having "decimated" trading.
This week the company said its shops in market towns and suburbs were mainly back to 2019 sales levels. However, those in high street shopping areas, in central London and transport hubs have been slower to recover as coronavirus restrictions have eased.
Overall, sales at Caffè Nero have reached 87% of 2019 levels, with the company expecting it to reach 90% in November.
The chain, which recently saw off a takeover attempt from the billionaire Issa brothers behind EG Group, said it achieved £15m earnings before tax, depreciation and amortisation between June and August this year.
Ford said: "We are coming back. Not there yet, but Caffè Nero is on the road to recovery. Each month trading is getting stronger and our prospects and opportunities going forward are becoming more encouraging.
"This solid trading is very encouraging and is providing a good platform for us to restart the engines and open a series of new stores over the next 12 months."
The chain's Nero Group parent company employs over 6,000 people in the UK and the business operates over 1,000 stores in 10 countries.
Image: AVM Images / Shutterstock
You need to create an account to read this article. It's free and only requires a few basic details.
Already subscribed? Log In