Greggs saw its pre-tax profits rise by 25.4% to £73m in its last financial year and has revealed it is confident of delivering even more growth in the year ahead.
The high street bakery chain also said like-for-like sales rose 4.7% for non-franchised stores and total sales were up 5.2% to £835.7m in the 52 weeks to 2 January 2016. It cited the focus on transforming the business from a high street baker into a food-to-go chain as the key driver of increased sales.
Roger Whiteside, chief executive at Greggs, said: “In 2015 we delivered another excellent performance in the second year of our strategy to transform Greggs from a traditional bakery business into a modern, attractive food-on-the-go retailer.
“We have made significant progress across the business change programme and, consequently, our estate is stronger and our products, value and service are all improving the experience for customers.
“This year has started well and the consumer outlook remains positive with disposable incomes expected to grow further in 2016. Overall, 2016 will be another year of significant change as we advance with our strategic plan and propose major investment in our supply chain. Alongside this we are confident of delivering a further year of underlying growth.”
This food-to-go focus was reflected by 90% of 122 new shop openings being located away from the high street in such areas as retail and industrial parks, motorway service stations and travel hubs.
According to the company, motorway service stations and petrol forecourts are a particular focus for franchising expansion and the bakery now operates 105 franchised stores.
More menu innovations were promised by the company for 2016, which has already seen the introduction of a flat white to menus. Balanced Choice healthy eating options will be a key focus, but the company said sweet and savoury bakery favourites remained important to the business, and 2016 would see new developments and upgrades in the sector.