Wanting to recreate an authentic Italian coffee bar experience, Gerry Ford, 57, founded Caffè Nero in 1997. The premium coffee chain now operates more than 700 outlets across Britain and overseas. It made its first foray into America last year after debt refinancing freed up £30m to fund expansion, helping to increase international sales 25% to £34.7m this year.

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Company details
Year2015
Rank89
CompanyCaffè Nero
ActivityCoffee house operator
LocationCentral London
Sales £m*276.0
Operating profit £m*24.2
Main shareholders

Gerry Ford (60%), Paladin Partners (30%), staff (10%)

Staff4,194
Founded1997
Websitewww.caffenero.com

If applicable:

* supplied by Company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda