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Cafe chain Cooks Coffee Company is planning to raise £1.5m in a funding round ahead of its London float.

The New Zealand-headquartered business is the fourth largest coffee-focused cafe chain in the UK, behind Starbucks, Costa and Caffè Nero, building a family of brands serving coffee, other complementary beverages and a range of food.

It operates under two brands: Esquires Organic Coffee, which was founded almost 30 years ago, and Triple Two Coffee, which was acquired in June 2020.

With Esquires and Triple Two, Cooks Coffee has 111 outlets across the UK, Ireland and its international markets.

Cooks is currently listed on the stock exchange in Wellington in New Zealand but announced plans for a dual listing in London back in August.

It plans to float on London’s Aquis exchange, while keeping its main New Zealand listing, in early November.

Executive chairman Keith Jackson said: “We are delighted to be coming to the Aquis Stock Exchange, raising capital for growth and expanding our shareholder base in the UK.

“Building on our position as the fourth-largest coffee focussed cafe chain in the UK and the largest solely franchisor focused café chain in the UK and Ireland, we see considerable opportunities for further growth.

“The Cooks Coffee franchise model promotes individual entrepreneurship and local community engagement, which appears to be resonating both with people who want to partner with us to open new sites and existing franchisees looking to grow their businesses through innovative new offerings.

“Having emerged from the pandemic in a healthy position I believe Cooks Coffee is now poised for significant growth that will deliver value for our shareholders. I look forward to providing further updates in due course as we progress our planned dual listing on the Aquis Growth Market in London and continue to grow the business.”

Cooks’ shares currently trade at NZ$0.40 each, giving its a market cap of NZ$21m (£10.6m).

Morning update

A short trading update from packaging firm DS Smith said trading continued to be “very good”, with first-half operating profits expected to be at least £400m.

It added the overall performance for the current full financial year was expected to be ahead of its previous expectations.

Revenue growth had been “very strong”, which, together with effective cost mitigation, had driven the improved profitability, despite slightly lower like-for-like corrugated box volumes, the group said.

CEO Mile Roberts said: “I am very pleased with the performance in the year to date and the momentum in our business.

“We remain focussed on delivering for our customers and managing our costs in an inflationary environment. While the macro-economic outlook remains uncertain, performance this year is ahead of our previous expectations and we look forward to the remainder of the year with confidence.”

The FTSE 100 started the week 0.5% lower at 6,959.78pts.

DS Smith led the risers this morning following its trading update, with shares soaring 7.7% to 260.3p.

Devro, Nichols and Tesco also increased, up 4.8% to 175.8p, 3.3% to 1,136.4p and 1.2% to 203p.

Fallers so far included Bakkavor, down 4.7% to 90.9p, THG, down 4.3% to 34.3p, Just Eat Takeaway, down 3.9% to 1,203.4p, and Premier Foods, down 3.6% to 93.3p.

This week in the City

Newsflow slows down somewhat this week in terms of scheduled updates.

Tomorrow brings the latest supermarket market share data from Kantar and BRC-KPMG retail sales figures for September alongside spending data from Barclaycard. There is also UK unemployment and wage growth data from the Office for National Statistics and a trading statement from Marston’s.

Poundland owner Pepco issues a pre-close update on Wednesday, while in the US PepsiCo files its latest quarterly results. Marks & Spencer is also holding a capital markets event on Wednesday.

Walgreens Boots Alliance will give an insight into whether Boots recovery in the UK remains on track when it releases quarterly figures in the US on Thursday.