| Italy

illycaffè seeking to strengthen international presence after record 2022 revenue growth

The Italian coffee roaster and café chain highlighted strong sales in its retail and HoReCa channels last year and is seeking growth in the 'super-premium' market in 2023

Group sales were particularly strong in illycaffé’s retail segment, where revenues increased 43% | Photo credit: illycaffè

illycaffè has reported its strongest annual sales growth in ten years, with 2022 revenues rising 14% year-on-year to reach €568m ($619m).  

Group sales were particularly strong in illycaffé’s retail segment, where revenues increased 43% compared to 2021, and its HoReCa channel, which registered 31% sales growth. 

As of 31 December 2022, illycaffè's retail network comprised 190 sales points across 34 countries. 

The Trieste-based coffee roaster and café chain achieved 10% year-on-year revenue growth in Italy, led by double-digit growth in the domestic HoReCa channel. illycaffè cited new client acquisitions in the premium segment of the Italian market for its strong performance.  

illycaffè reported 27% revenue growth in the US following a positive performance across all distribution channels and a favourable exchange rate, and 15% sales growth in China, led by online sales. 

The Italian coffee roaster and café chain, which is seeking to go public by 2026, said 2022 EBITDA grew 16% to €71m ($78m). 

illycaffè said it plans to further grow its presence in the global super-premium market segment in 2023, supported by a €270m ($294m) investment plan.  

Nearly half of the funds will enable the expansion of the coffee roaster and café chain’s Italian production hub in Trieste. 

“We are thrilled to have achieved the best results in the last ten years in spite of the challenging macro-economic context. 2022 marked a major milestone towards the achievement of our strategic goals: this year all markets and all distribution channels contributed to our growth, in terms of both revenue and EBITDA. These results underscore the solidity of the strategic direction we have taken. We intend to continue to build on this strength by further accelerating our growth on international markets,” said Cristina Scocchia, CEO, illycaffè. 

International growth will primarily focus on the US, where illycaffé is seeking double-digit sales growth and greater brand awareness, and its target growth market China. 

illycaffè sold a 20% stake in its business to US-based Rhône Capital in November 2020 in a bid boost its presence in the US and globally. 

However, in February 2023, Scocchia said illycaffè’s international sales were still “too fragmented” and that the company was seeking to “build bigger markets abroad”. 

She told Chinese news agency Xinhua “we have studied which markets can become a second home market for us and the best option is China”. 

The company has an expansion strategy which will enable it to double or triple its sales in China by 2026, she added. 

Founded in Trieste in 1933, illycaffè is one of the world’s most prominent coffee roasters, with a presence within restaurants, hotels and offices in 140 countries worldwide. illycaffè also operates 70 cafés across Europe and North America. 

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