May 14, 2020 / 5:18 PM / in 15 days

Zanetti says outlook unclear after virus hits coffee sales to bars

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s Massimo Zanetti (MZB.MI) said on Thursday it needed two or three months more to assess the likely impact of the coronavirus outbreak on its 2020 results after reporting a fall in first-quarter core profit.

The company, which owns several coffee brands including Segafredo and Boncafe, said the lockdown imposed in Italy and other European countries weighed on the food service business, which serves bars and restaurants.

Sales in supermarkets and of coffee which is then re-branded by final sellers were more resilient.

“After performing positively in January and February, the food service channel suffered a sharp slowdown in the main markets, partially offset by the progress in the mass market and private label channels,” the group’s Chairman and CEO Massimo Zanetti said in a statement.

Between January and March, the group reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 12.9 million euros, down 25% compared with the same period last year.

Revenue came in at 222.8 million euros in the period, down 1% at constant exchange rates and excluding the impact of the acquisitions of Brazil’s Café Pacaembu and Australia’s Bean Alliance Group.

“The impact on the performance of the year is still unclear... probably, another two or three months will be necessary to get a clearer picture,” Zanetti said, adding that the group was implementing measures to control costs in all geographical areas.

The group swung to a first-quarter net loss of 3.3 million euros from a net profit of 2.4 million euros one year ago.

Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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