Bewley’s cafe bounces back to profitability in wake of Covid

Company’s historic Grafton Street premises is one of 12 Johnny Ronan properties which were taken over by a receiver last week

Bewley’s cafe on Grafton Street in Dublin has reported a big turnaround in profit and sales in the wake of Covid.

The group’s latest set of accounts show it made a profit of just over €1 million in 2022, up from a loss of €1.7 million the previous year when the business was hampered from trading by pandemic-related restrictions.

The group, which is owned by Paddy Campbell, posted turnover of €3.37 million, nearly three times the €1.18 million reported in 2021.

The historic cafe on Dublin’s main shopping thoroughfare is one of 12 Johnny Ronan properties that were taken into receivership last week.


Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) said it had invited Bank of Ireland and AIB to appoint a receiver to manage the refinancing of property assets owned by the company. The loans from AIB and Bank of Ireland to which the receiver has been appointed amount to about €130 million. It is understood the value of the property portfolio is well in excess of this figure.

Bewley’s has been in a long-running dispute with Mr Ronan over the rent paid for the Grafton St premises, with the coffee group failing to secure a reduction.

The latest accounts showed rental costs to Mr Ronan’s company were €1.46 million in 2022. The rent was described as part of an “onerous lease provision”. The group employed 88 staff in 2022, up from 38 in 2021, with wages and salaries costing €1.6 million.

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The improved performance comes amid a “refocus” on and a revamp of the group’s Irish operation. In June, Bewley’s announced it had sold its UK coffee roasting and distribution operation.

The group said its long-term partner in the UK, Cafédirect, will take over its Yorkshire-based roastery and distribution operation, with Bewley’s supplying retail product.

At the time, Jason Doyle Bewley’s Coffee and Tea managing director said the deal would allow the group to “focus on changing the face” of the Irish business. The company had earlier rebranded of its retail product line.

Bewley’s said it had net liabilities of €20.2 million as of the end of last year.

“Whilst the company is in a net current liabilities position at December 31st, 2022, the company has secured sufficient funding subsequent to year-end such that the director has a reasonable expectation that the group will have adequate resources to continue in operational existence for a period of at least 12 months from the date of approval of these financial statements,” the accounts stated.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times