Caffe Nero plans 40 stores with 350 new jobs
The Irish arm of UK specialist coffee retailer, Caffe Nero believes that there are strong prospects for the growth of branded coffee in Ireland as start-up costs contributed to the firm recording a loss of €430,000 last year.
The firm is planning to invest €20m here by opening 40 stores and creating up to 350 new jobs.
The company's second set of accounts lodged with the Companies Office show that the business increased its revenues nearly nine fold going from €77,000 to €687,000 in the 12 months to the end of May last.
The number of Caffe Nero outlets operating during the period was four with the firm opening three of those last year.
Caffe Nero's first Irish outlet opened on Merrion Row in Dublin in March 2014 and today operates six outlets - five in Dublin and one recently opened in Drogheda.
The firm has also planning permission for another store in Dalkey in Dublin that it secured in September 2014 in the face of local opposition.
According to the directors' report "the loss for the year arose due to continued start up costs in this new territory".
The pre-tax loss of €430,000 last year followed the firm recording a pre-tax loss of €56,000 in 2014.
The directors said that they believe that there are strong growth prospects in the branded coffee bar market in Ireland.
On the firm's future developments, the directors state that the company expects to be continue to open further locations under the Caffe Nero brand.
In addition to the core range of espresso based coffees, Caffe Nero offers an array of pastries, baked goods, freshly made panini, sandwiches, salads and pastas.
Underlining the firm's expansion plan last year, it incurred €1m costs in acquiring property, plant and equipment compared to €287,000 under that heading in 2014.
Caffe Nero was founded by Gerry Ford in 1997. It is the largest independent coffee retailer in Europe and last year operated 571 stores in 247 UK and Irish towns generating revenues of £240m (€306m).