Irish coffee company Bewley's experienced an €18.6 million loss in 2017 as a result of charges of just under €20 million.
According to The Irish Times, €11.9 million of this cost was due to a write-off of goodwill pertaining to the potential impact of a hard Brexit on Bewley's UK operation, which generates 41% of the company's overall business.
Bewley's established a task force of 15 senior managers to examine "mitigating actions" that might be necessary to lessen Brexit's impact on the business, including increasing warehousing facilities, expanding roasting capacity in the UK and liaising with suppliers to prevent the flow of raw materials being disrupted by a hard Brexit.
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Bewley's chief executive John Cahill commented, "The entire supply chain is getting ready. We are looking at increased inventory within the system and looking at an acceleration of production. We’ve also put appropriate staff through customs training and have received authorisations as an authorised economic operator, which effectively gives you priority for customs clearance ... as you’re a trusted trader that customs can rely on."
Turnover And Operating Profit
Bewley's turnover decreased 8% to €150.6 million last year, however, operating profit rose 33% to €2.3 million due to reductions in costs.
Speaking about expectations for 2018 and 2019, Cahill said, "We see the group at an overall level moving into profitability in 2018 and improving further in 2019, assuming there isn’t a hard Brexit."
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.