Tuesday 25 July 2017

Bewley's hunts new acquisitions among UK and US coffee houses

Bewley’s, which is owned by the Campbell Bewley group and recently decided to buy all
of its coffee under fairtrade terms, has been in fierce expansion mode in recent years. Photo: PA
Bewley’s, which is owned by the Campbell Bewley group and recently decided to buy all of its coffee under fairtrade terms, has been in fierce expansion mode in recent years. Photo: PA
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Bewley's is still on the acquisitions trail and plans to buy more companies in the US and UK.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent last week, manag- ing director Jim Corbett said the UK and US are delivering the lion's share of Bewley's growth.

Bewley's, which is owned by the Campbell Bewley group and recently decided to buy all of its coffee under fairtrade terms, has been in fierce expansion mode in recent years.

In the UK the company has bought three different coffee businesses in the last five years - the London-based Darlington's Coffee in 2011; Yorkshire-centred roaster Bolling Coffee, which it bought in 2013; and distribution business Peros last summer.

Peros' turnover was €22m when Bewley's acquired it. Corbett indicated that other acquisitions would probably be of a similar size. Deals are not likely imminently, he said.

"Our UK business has grown 17pc like-for-like in the past 12 months. We are getting a great return on our capital," he said.

The company's presence in the US includes Rebecca's Cafes in Boston, and Java City - a coffee roasting, wholesale and cafe operation based in Sacramento, California.

Annual sales by Ireland's biggest coffee supplier are expected to approach €170m this year. By comparison, revenue in 2008 was around €80m and in 2013 it was €104m. Sales are split broadly in thirds between the US, UK and Ireland.

At home, they hope to reopen their flagship Grafton Street cafe this summer. "It has taken us longer than expected because it is an old building and needs to be treated sensitively," said Corbett.

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