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Coffee Company JDE Peet's 2020 Sales Fall, Sees 2021 Growth

Coffee company JDE Peet's has reported a fall of 4.2% in annual sales, as the impact of lost sales in cafes due to the COVID-19 pandemic outweighed a boom in home-use products.

Sales of the owner of the Douwe Egberts, Peet's Coffee and Jacobs brands dipped to €6.65 billion ($7.89 billion) for 2020, just below the €6.68 billion seen in a company-compiled poll of analysts.

Adjusted operating profit (EBIT) rose 1.2% to €1.28 billion.

For 2021, the company forecast organic sales growth of 3%-5% in 2021, as its away-from-home businesses recover, with a 'single digit' increase in adjusted EBIT.

Reflecting the impact of the pandemic, sales of packaged coffee products usually sold in grocery stores, its largest business, rose 7% in Europe, its largest market. Meanwhile sales of out-of-home coffee consumed in cafes, offices and schools, fell by 32%.

Higher-Quality Coffee

CEO Fabien Simon said consumers were choosing higher-quality coffee and brands perceived as environmentally friendly or local. JDE owns a range of coffee and tea brands including Pickwick, Senseo, Tassimo, TiOra and L'OR.

"I believe it will probably take 18-24 months for the out-of-home environment to return to pre-COVID levels," Simon said, pointing to lockdowns still in place in most of Europe in the first months of 2021.

"Having said that, we do have a very powerful at-home business where cups (of coffee) have been shifted to us."

JDE Peet's shares first rose and then fell after it listed at €31.50 on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange in May, in one of the largest initial public offerings to take place amid the COVID-19 crisis..

The stock closed at €33.44 on Monday.

News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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