March 27, 2018 / 4:51 PM / in a year

Lavazza to focus on organic growth after acquisitions boost 2017 core profits

MILAN, March 27 (Reuters) - Italian coffee maker Lavazza said on Tuesday it would focus on organic growth after posting a 12.5 percent rise in 2017 core profits, boosted by overseas sales and the company’s recent acquisitions strategy.

Lavazza’s shopping spree has sharply increased its scale in recent years. After buying French brand Carte Noire and Denmark’s Merrild, the Turin-based group last year purchased Canadian organic coffee firm Kicking Horse, France’s ESP and Italian coffee pods and machines company Nims.

“In 2018, there will be a strong focus on the Group’s organic growth, consistent with the guidelines set out in the strategic plan: internationalization, brand strengthening, and further expansion of the operating margin,” Chief Executive Antonio Baravalle said in a statement.

Baravalle added that the group’s 6.3 percent revenue growth - to 2 billion euros from 1.9 billion euros the year before - was three times the market average.

Sales rose in the United Kingdom, the United States and in France, the group’s second largest market after Italy. Foreign markets represented just under two thirds of the group’s sales.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were 200.8 million from 178.5 million in 2016. (Reporting by Giulia Segreti Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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