Bakery chain Greggs said it expected its full-year results to be “in line” with previous expectations – after announcing company like-for-like sales (LFLs) increased by 4.7% in 2015.

Updating the market on its fourth quarter, it said that total sales in the 52 weeks to 2 January 2016 were up 5.2%.

Its fourth-quarter LFLs increased by 2.7%, added the company.

Commenting on the update, Roger Whiteside, chief executive, said: “2015 saw us deliver another excellent year of progress as we continue to transform Greggs into a modern, well-invested food-on-the-go retailer.

“We anticipate that we will report full-year results for 2015 in line with our previous expectations. In the year ahead we will continue with the implementation of our strategic plan to enable the business to compete more effectively in the food-on-the-go market.”

The retailer said that, as expected, it came up against “stronger comparatives and the impact of weaker footfall in some shopping locations” over the festive period. But Greggs added that sales over the Christmas period were in line with the overall trend for the fourth quarter.

“Seasonal favourites such as our award-winning mince pies and Festive Bake made a strong contribution to sales over the Christmas and New Year period,” Greggs added.

On its estate, Greggs said it had:

  • Completed 202 refits in 2015, plus 20 conversions of larger bakery cafés
  • Opened 122 new shops in the year and closed 74
  • 1,698 shops trading as at 2 January 2016.

New menu additions

Breakfast continues to be huge driver for the firm and Greggs said it would be adding a mocha and a flat white to it coffee menu shortly.

It added: “Sales growth has been particularly strong in sandwiches and drinks, including our healthier options ‘Balanced Choice’ range featuring new salads and ‘no added sugar’ drinks. Our new hot food menu, with an improved hot sandwich range and fresh soups, is also selling well as customers become increasingly aware of our new food-on-the-go options.”

The company will update the market with its preliminary annual results on 2 March.