Whittard of Chelsea managed to return to the black last year thanks to rising sales “driven principally by affluent urban millennials.”
The 130-year-old tea and coffee retailer saw revenues jump 20.5 per cent in 2017 to £34.7 million, while net profits increased from a loss of £1.4 million in 2016 to £251,000.
Meanwhile EBITDA shot up 292 per cent to £1.8 million, thanks to a 51 per cent boost in international sales, alongside 18 per cent growth here in the UK.
“The performance of the business in 2017 in the context of a challenging UK retail environment provides evidence that our brand re-positioning strategy is beginning to deliver a robust and sustainable improvement in financial performance,” chief executive Mark Dunhill said.
“We believe a British brand, with over 130 years of heritage as tea, coffee and cocoa merchants, is uniquely positioned to continue to benefit from the growing global demand for premium beverage products which is being driven principally by affluent urban millennials.
“This population are more adventurous in their pursuit of new taste experiences and ready to pay a premium for a quality product from a brand they trust. They are increasingly concerned by health and wellness, drinking less alcohol and turning in increasing numbers to loose leaf teas and herbal infusions.”