The Irish-owned BB's café chain has hatched a plan to open dozens of outlets

BB’s Coffee & Muffins used to be owned by billionaire Denis O’Brien.

By Paul O'Donoghue Reporter, Fora

A CAFÉ CHAIN formerly owned by billionaire businessman Denis O’Brien plans to open dozens of outlets across Ireland and the UK this year.

Bakers + Baristas Ltd, the company behind the BB’s Coffee & Muffins chain, said in its most recent accounts that it plans to have 100 locations by 2020.

As of the end of 2016, the latest period covered by the accounts, the company had 56 outlets. While the majority of these were in the UK, the firm also had 14 in the Republic of Ireland.

Bakers + Baristas Ltd, which has a listed address in Limerick, saw its sales rise from €13 million in 2015 to just under €17 million in 2016.

However, the company’s cost of sales and administrative expenses also jumped, leaving the firm with a loss of €1 million. This was down from the €1.5 million loss reported the year before.

Despite the fact that it has more than twice as many stores in the UK than in Ireland, the company’s revenue split was quite even: €9.2 million in the UK, and €7.7 million in the Republic. The company employed 285 people, up from 228 in 2015.

Expansion

The director’s report for the business said that during the 2016 financial year “BB’s continued its expansion strategy, opening six new stores”.

“The BB’s management team has ambitious plans to continue growing the business to 100 locations by 2020.”

BB’s Coffee & Muffins chain was founded in Australia in 1981 before coming to the UK in 1997.

The chain was owned by Irish billionaire businessman Denis O’Brien, who sold it to a group of investors in 2016.

The company is now owned by a mix of Irish and UK backers, with the Irish contingent owning the majority of the shares.

Causeway Capital Partners, a Dublin-based fund set up to invest in small and medium businesses in Ireland and the UK, is one of the largest stakeholders.

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