Caffe Nero has its sights firmly fixed on global expansion, with plans to open 80 new sites worldwide in its current financial year to the end of May 2020.
In its latest set of accounts, filed with Companies House this week, the chain said that a “key part of the group’s strategy is to increase in scale”.
The 80-store target is set across all of its brands, which as well as Caffe Nero include Harris + Hoole, Aroma and Coffee#1, which it acquired in February.
If it achieves its objective, it will represent a 27% increase on the 63 new stores it opened in the last financial year, not including the 92 it picked up from Coffee#1.
At the year-end, it had 1,062 stores in its portfolio, with Caffe Nero accounting for 892 of those.
The chain made sales of £366m in the year to 31 May 2019 and now operates in 11 countries, including Ireland, USA, Poland, Turkey and Sweden. It also has franchise agreements in the UAE, Cyprus, Croatia, Oman and France.
In a statement accompanying the results, the company said: “The directors believe that there are strong growth prospects in all the markets in which the group operates for high quality branded coffee as well as capsules and coffee at home. The directors intend to continue the growth of each brand.”
The firm added that the success of the group in its store opening programme and like-for-like sales growth is ultimately displayed by increasing profit in absolute terms.
In the year, store profit increased by £2.9m to £78.1m, a 4% increase. Inflationary pressures, particularly from wages and business rates, were offset by increases in retail prices.
The group targets an annual range of 3% to 5% growth in worldwide like-for-like sales. In the year, the group achieved worldwide like-for-like sales of 3.1%, which fell within the targeted range.
Directors at the firm said they consider it a “solid result” in the content of the general challenges faced by the retail industry and the uncertainty of Brexit.
At the year end, the group employed more than 8,000 people, creating 140 new jobs in the UK and nearly 430 worldwide during the past year.
All funds generated by the company are reinvested to create further jobs, pay employees and drive growth.
Remarkably, Caffe Nero has never paid a dividend to shareholders in its 22-year history – instead the firm believes in reinvesting all of its money into the business.
Earlier this year, the firm completed one of the largest menu development exercises in its history.