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Caffè Nero mulls international expansion

14 September 2005

Caffè Nero is considering international expansion, after its UK business enjoyed another record breaking year.

Chief executive Gerry Ford said the European-styled coffee chain would analyse international opportunities in Northern Europe and the Middle East.

"Nonetheless, the key to a successful year for Caffè Nero is to stay focused on the UK," said Ford.

To this end, Ford announced the appointment of Jonathan Hart as UK managing director.

Hart, who has previously worked as group managing director of Dixons and head of the Abbey National retail network, inherits a business in rude health.

Turnover in the year to 31 May 2005 was up 39% to a record £70.1m (2004: £50.5m) while pre-tax profit leapt 201% to a record £5.1m (2004: £1.7m).

A major driver were 52 new stores opened in the year, and with 16 more launched since the year end, Caffè Nero now operates 230 coffee bars in the UK.

Ford said turnover in the first quarter of the company's new financial year had been unaffected by the London terror attacks and was up 34% year-on-year.

Caffè Nero has 41 stores scheduled to open in the UK over the next 12 months, and all will be paid for by cash generated within the business.

By Chris Druce

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