The chairman of Caffe Nero, Gerry Ford, told his company's AGM today that trading since the beginning of the current year, 1 June "has continued to be solid, positive year-on-year and in line with market expectations."

Ford said: "We are especially encouraged by the performance of the former Aroma site conversions, which are beginning to contribute to profitability.

"In addition, the group's joint venture operation with Easyinternetcafe, which opened in August in High Street Kensington in London, is already trading profitably and we are very satisfied with our first brand initiative of this kind.

"Caffe Nero has had a strong start to trading which leaves the group well placed to achieve another year of sustained growth."