Caffé Nero celebrated a record-breaking year of expansion and profits this week, cementing its position as one of the UK's leading coffee brands.
Chairman Gerry Ford said he was "delighted to report record results across a number of fronts".
Turnover for the year ended 31 May 2004 increased 28% to £50.5m (£39.4m), while pre-tax profit rocketed 127% to £2.4m (£1m).
But Ford said the company's most significant achievement was becoming cash-generative, with earnings before tax, depreciation and amortisation up 56% to £6.5m (£4.2m). "It means we don't have to rely on other people's money to grow," he said.
Caffé Nero, which now has 183 coffee shops, expects to continue adding 35 outlets a year. "The market has existed in the USA for 20 years and it's still growing," said Ford. "There are 60,000 pubs in the UK but only 2,200 branded coffee shops. The UK is undergoing a lifestyle change."