BUSINESS

Costa Coffee about to leave Greece

By Dimitra Manifava

British chain Costa Coffee is a step away from exiting the Greek market under the burden of the financial crisis and the decline in turnover since September 2011, when increased value-added tax rate was applied to the food catering sector.

Greek Coffee Company SA, owned by Aris Vovos, which represents the British chain in Greece, has already suspended the operation of the 10 cafes with the Costa Coffee brand that remained in the local market: Four in Athens city center, four in the capital’s northern suburbs and two in the southern suburbs.

Kathimerini understands that the Greek company’s management will wait until Friday to see whether the parent company will continue to support its Greek venture, while maintaining some flickering hope that its cafes will be bought out by other entrepreneurs with which it has been locked in negotiations.

Greek Coffee Company SA employs 90 people but has little option than letting them go after a 40 percent drop in turnover within one year and, according to its claims, unfair competition from companies that allegedly evade paying taxes.

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