Caffe Nero outlet in Soho, London - British Baker  2100x1400

Source: British Baker

Shop estate expansion and increased deliveries have helped Caffè Nero Group report 17% sales growth for the first half of its financial year.

In a trading update for the June to November 2023 period, the independent coffee house announced group revenue of £265m, marking an increase of 10% in like-for-like sales compared to the same period in 2022.

Caffè Nero Group’s UK business, which includes the Caffè Nero, Coffee#1, and Harris+Hoole brands, was said to account for £200m of this total.

Caffe Nero Pigs Under Blanket Panini 950x1146

Source: Caffè Nero

Pigs Under Blanket Panini

The key Christmas period saw Caffè Nero UK revenue exceed £60m, a 7% like-for-like sales increase compared to takings from November and December 2022. Its Christmas menu featured bakery debutants including Pigs Under Blanket Panini, Sticky Toffee Pudding Cheesecake, and Millionaire’s Cake. These helped the brand achieve a record £8.4m in weekly sales during w/c 27 November 2023, serving more than 7.7 million UK customers during December alone.

Caffè Nero’s airport business also continued to move forward, opening four sites during the period – it now operates 43 stores in 13 airports worldwide. Last month, the company unveiled plans to open its first ever drive-thru store, located at Stanstead Airport.

Despite facing challenging costs in the first half, driven by ongoing inflationary pressures, the Ford family-owned business opened 43 new stores with 20 of those new stores in the UK and Ireland. It currently operates 1,057 stores across 10 countries, employing around 10,000 staff members.

Caffè Nero UK also continued its strong partnerships with Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat to generate £4.7m of revenue during the first half, a 28% rise compared to 2022.

“We’ve seen a very encouraging first half,” said Gerry Ford, Caffè Nero founder and group CEO. “Despite significant ongoing inflationary pressures that had a notable effect on our business, we have delivered solid sales growth and demonstrated strong cost control.

“This is a testament to the hard work and outstanding service from our store teams as well as a very well received menu innovation in the UK including the Amaretto Latte in the autumn and a hugely successful Christmas menu. We expect to see sales continue to improve further over the coming weeks and months,” Ford added.

In addition to its first half trading update, Caffè Nero also reported annual results for its last financial year, ending May 2023. During that period at group level, sales increased by 16% to £450m with EBITDA at £41.7m and 63 new stores added across the world.

“FY23 was a year of recovery, bringing the business out of the Covid pandemic period,” commented Ford. “Each month provided a positive progression in sales, another step forward, and by the end of the financial year we felt we had returned to pre-pandemic levels. I’m pleased with the resilience the business showed during the year and the progress we made in the trading conditions we faced.”