Bewley’s profits up 43% on strong sales in UK

Coffee group chief reviewing ‘options’ over Grafton Street rent dispute

Revenue for the Campbell Bewley Group rose 6.6 per cent last year to €104 million, the first time since 2004 that turnover topped €100 million. Photograph: David Sleator

Revenue for the Campbell Bewley Group rose 6.6 per cent last year to €104 million, the first time since 2004 that turnover topped €100 million. Photograph: David Sleator

 
Bewley’s

Revenue for the Campbell Bewley Group rose 6.6 per cent to €104 million, according to accounts given to The Irish Times. This was the first time since 2004 that turnover topped €100 million and is attributable to sales growth of 78 per cent in the UK following the acquisition of the Bolling Coffee business in March 2013.

Sales in the UK rose to €18.7 million last year, up from €10.5 million in 2012. On a like-for-like basis the growth would have been 14 per cent. The UK accounts for 18 per cent of Bewley’s overall revenue.

US sales

Bewley’s chief executive John Cahill said it continues to review its options in relation to the dispute over the rent on its flagship Grafton Street cafe.

Last year, the High Court confirmed that a market rate should prevail on the premises. Following arbitration, a rent of €728,000 was established – roughly half the amount previously paid to Ickendel Ltd, which is controlled by developer Johnny Ronan.

‘Disappointing’

“We’re still considering what we can do and what the next move is,” he said. “The rent is uneconomic and is draining resources from the group.” On current trading, Mr Cahill said: “Sales will be up in 2014 versus 2013.” Bewley’s, which is controlled by Patrick Campbell, has launched a range of gifts for Christmas and is investing €3 million to upgrade its IT systems.