Sandwich chain Pret A Manager has reported a 9.7% increase in like-for-like sales in the 52 weeks to 1 January 2015.
Total sales increased by 16% from £510m to £594m, while EBITDA was up 14% to £76m. The year saw 33 new store openings, including the chain’s first in Shanghai, bringing its total stores to 374, with 526 new jobs created.
New product development accounted for 12% of sales with the company’s hot and healthy food ranges accounting for much of the growth. Sales of hot foods increased 16% like-for-like from morning porridge to hearty lunches.
The chain saw an increased demand for ‘grazing’ options, such as protein pots, vegetable juices and more breakfast options as 57% of sales now occur outside lunchtime hours.
Coffee orders became ‘more sophisticated’ with macchiato sales up 73% in two years and there was a rise in demand for gluten-, dairy- and meat-free products – 42 vegetarian products are now listed on the menu.
Clive Schlee, chief executive, said: “These are a strong set of results and represent another successful year for Pret. With double-digit growth achieved in virtually all of our markets, we continued our measured expansion of the business by remaining faithful to our core values and by responding to customer demand for innovative, healthy and hot food.”
Of the new openings last year, 23 were in the UK – of which 15 were in London – with seven in the US, two in France and one in Shanghai. A new training centre, the Pret Academy, opened in London last year and delivered training courses to more than 10,000 delegates.
The company has invested a total of £191m into its estate over the last five years. This year, Pret plans to increase investment in new shop construction and build more shops in all of its international markets.