De Longhi’s share sale calls peak coffee

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A photo illustration shows a coffee reflected in a coffee machine after it was made for a customer at a Sydney cafe in Australia, May 4, 2017.

MILAN, Sept 14 (Reuters Breakingviews) - De Longhi Industrial’s (DLG.MI) owners may be calling the top of the coffee machine boom. The 5 billion euro company’s founders’ vehicle, which owns a 56.5% stake, and Chairman Giuseppe De’Longhi, between them sold 4% of its shares through an accelerated book building on Tuesday. At 35.38 euros a share, the sale is about 9% below Monday’s close and more than 10% below an all-time peak of around 40 euros reached in June.

De Longhi has had a good pandemic. A jump in hot brews consumption during lockdowns lifted sales for its coffee division, which represents about 50% of sales. Personal kitchen appliances brands Kenwood and Ariete also did well as people spent more time cooking at home. That’s why De Longhi’s shares doubled in value in the pandemic and revenue is expected to grow 32% this year. Kitchen goods are however not frequent buys. And as people return to the office, there won’t be much time for domestic coffee-drinking: sales may grow just 4% a year through 2023, Refinitiv data show. It’s a good time to take a break. (By Lisa Jucca)

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Editing by Neil Unmack and Karen Kwok

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