* Lavazza raises stake in Green Mountain to 8 percent
* International sales, cost-cutting help Lavazza return to
By Isla Binnie
LONDON, May 10 Italian coffee company Lavazza
said on Friday it had raised its stake in U.S.-based Green
Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc to 8 percent, underlining
its commitment to expansion abroad as it reported a return to
profit for 2012.
The Turin-based group, founded by the Lavazza family in
1895, said 46 percent of revenues last year came from
international markets, closing in on its aim to make 50 percent
of its income abroad.
Focusing on international sales and cost-cutting helped the
company resist a protracted recession in its home country to
post net profit of 97.1 million euros ($127.15 million) in 2012,
compared with a 9 million euro loss in the previous year.
Lavazza said last December it expected the United States to
overtake Europe as its second-biggest market behind Italy over
the next 10 years.
Chief executive Antonio Baravelle said he hoped to lure home
the 85 percent of Americans who drink coffee at cafes with the
new single-cup espresso and cappuccino machine Lavazza launched
in the U.S. with Green Mountain last November.
Green Mountain, which makes Keurig single-serve brewers and
K-cups which allow people to make Starbucks coffee in
their machines at home, raised its full-year earnings outlook on
Wednesday, sending its shares up almost 16 percent.
Lavazza also plans to penetrate the Indian, Chinese and
Russian markets by forging local partnerships.