Campbell Bewley trebled profits in 2012 to €1.5m

UK revenue almost doubled to €10.5m following Darlington acquisition

Irish coffee group

Campbell Bewley

trebled its profit in 2012 to €1.5 million following strong revenue growth at its UK and US divisions.

Latest accounts for Campbell Bewley Group Ltd show that the company increased turnover by 14.2 per cent to €97.5 million. Its UK revenues almost doubled to €10.5 million, due to the full-year impact of its acquisition of the Darlington’s business in September 2011.


In the Republic, revenues rose by 6.4 per cent to €37.5 million while turnover from the US and other markets increased by 11.5 per cent to €49.5 million.

Chief executive John Cahill said the company's revenues exceeded €100 million in 2013 and he expects a "moderate increase" in profits for the year when the accounts are audited and signed off by the board.

“We’ve had good momentum from the last quarter of 2013 and we’re reasonably confident about the future of the wholesale business,” Mr Cahill said of current trading.

Wholesale revenues rose by 17 per cent to €70.1 million in 2012.

Sales in the UK and the US now account for almost two-thirds of group turnover and Mr Cahill said it continues to be interested in acquisition opportunities in both markets. Campbell Bewley added to its UK business last year with the acquisition of Bolling Coffee, a coffee roaster and distributor based in Yorkshire.

'Difficult year'
The accounts note that the Bewley's cafe on Grafton Street had a "difficult year" in 2012, with sales falling as a result of "ongoing reductions in discretionary spending by consumers".

The company has been in dispute with its landlord, Ickendel Ltd, a company controlled by Johnny Ronan and a debtor of NAMA, over its lease agreement.

Mr Cahill has been seeking to have the near €1.5 million boom-time annual rent on the famous cafe premises reduced to current market rates. Ickendel sued Bewley’s about the lease last year but the High Court ruled in the coffee company’s favour. This decision is being appealed to the Supreme Court, which is set to hear the matter on March 31st.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times