A surprise change of guard is happening at the helm of Illy Caffé, the company of the Illy group among the largest Italian coffee producers headed by the family of the same name and 20% owned by the Rhône Capital fund. From 1 January 2022 Massimiliano Pogliani, the first manager outside the Illy family to whom the company was entrusted in 2016 and then again in 2019, will be replaced by Cristina Scocchia, now ceo of Kiko, the well-known Italian make-up products retailer owned by the Percassi family and participated by Peninsula Capital (see ANSA here).
Scocchia had been Kiko’s ceo since July 2017, where she had landed from L’Oréal Italia, where she had held the positions of ceo and chairwoman. She previously worked at Procter & Gamble. Today she also sits in the board of directors of Essilor-Luxottica.
The appointment of Mrs. Scocchia, who had already been a member of Illy’s board of directors since 2019, reads the note released yesterday by Illy, was brought forward with respect to the expiry of Mr. Pogliani’s mandate, “in consideration of the positive phase of the capital market and the willingness to start the listing process, as well as of the fact that Massimiliano Pogliani’s will to pursue other professional experiences” and also ” in order to ensure unitary management for the entire 2022 financial year”. In reality, however, market rumors say that the real reason for the early termination of Mr. Pogliani’s mandate is a relationship that had by now deteriorated with the members of the Illy family.
Of course, last year was not the best for the group, which certainly felt the effects of the pandemic, but still withstood the Covid tsunami. In fact, revenues fell to 446.5 million euros (-14% from 2019), while adjusted ebitda fell by 25% to 57.7 millions (77.4% of the previous year), with profit which did not exceed 5 millions compared to 19 millions in the previous year, however the net debt position of 103.3 millions fell by 10.7 millions compared to 2019 (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
What allowed the Trieste-based group to withstand the impact of the pandemic, whose sales traditionally come for more than 50% from the Ho.Re.Ca. segment, especially abroad, was the 39% increase in sales through e-commerce and + 21% increase of other channels linked to domestic consumption, while exports reflected the trend of the pandemic in the various areas of the world.
The Illy group also includes the sub-holding Polo del Gusto, which groups together brands of tea (Dammann Frères), chocolate (Domori), English pastry (Prestat), jams (Agrimontana), wine (Mastrojanni) and bars and ice cream shops (Fgel). Polo del Gusto, with revenues of around 75 million euros in 2020, down from 89.5 millions in 2019, is led by Riccardo Illy and ceo Andrea Macchione. The appointment of the latter last April (see here a previous article by BeBeez) takes place in the context of the possible sale of a minority (20-40%) of the Polo del Gusto, valued at 250 million euros, which is being talked about for some time (see here a previous article by BeBeez), but without ever reaching anything concrete yet. The latest rumors refer to negotiations with Dea Capital Alternative Funds sgr at the beginning of the year, which then ended in stalemate (see AffariItaliani here).