March 25, 2020 / 4:52 PM / 6 days ago

Coffee maker Lavazza says good 2019 results will help it fight coronavirus

MILAN (Reuters) - Positive 2019 results and a solid capital structure will help Italy’s Lavazza weather the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the coffee maker said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Lavazza coffee logo is seen outside Lavazza's flagship coffee store downtown Milan, Italy September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

The family-owned coffee roaster said its revenue rose 18% year-on-year in 2019 to 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), driven by the integration of the vending machine business it acquired from Mars Incorporates at the end of 2018.

Lavazza has also entered the ready-to-drink market through a partnership agreement signed with PepsiCo (PEP.O) under which it has launched new products in Britain.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), rose 47% to 291 million euros, with the margin on sales improving to 13.2% from 10.6% in 2018.

The Turin-based group reported a positive net financial position of 82 million euros, up from 15 million euros in 2018.

“The situation is today strongly conditioned by the ongoing health emergency, making it difficult to predict what will happen at macroeconomic level in the coming months,” Lavazza CEO Antonio Baravalle said.

He said he was confident the reaction of the group and other Italian entrepreneurs would help the country return to “business as usual”.

Lavazza said last week it would donate 10 million euros for projects to support healthcare, schools and low income families in the Piedmont region in Italy.

The group’s plants are operating regularly, Lavazza said, adding it was working in full compliance with the emergency measures put in place by the Italian government.

($1 = 0.9232 euros)

Reporting by Francesca Landini, Editing by Timothy Heritage

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