Bakkavor has reported a ‘clear sales momentum’ with the easing of pandemic restrictions and the normalising of shopping frequency.
In a second-quarter trading update on its performance for the 13 weeks to 26 June 2021, the sandwich, dessert and pizza manufacturer said UK like-for-like sales increased 12% compared with the corresponding period of 2020 and were down only 1.4% on the equivalent quarter of 2019.
While UK sales in the first quarter were adversely impacted by lockdown restrictions, early signs of recovery became apparent in March as government restrictions began to ease, Bakkavor said. This improvement in sales gathered pace throughout the second quarter as lockdown measures were eased further, the company added.
According to the Q2 trading update, sales in the meals, pizza & bread and desserts categories have returned to pre-pandemic levels as a result of more normalised shopping habits.
Overall, group reported revenues were up 16.1% and 1.8% on a like-for-like basis compared with 2020 and 2019 respectively. Group reported revenues for the half year were up 4% compared to the first half of 2020.
“We are pleased to see improving trends across all of our businesses as lockdown measures have eased, with group sales for the quarter ahead of 2019,” said Agust Gudmundsson, CEO of Bakkavor. “We are also encouraged by the return to pre-pandemic levels of shopping visit frequency, a key driver for our fresh prepared food offering.”
Gudmundsson said overall trading remains in line with management expectations.
“Looking ahead, industry-wide cost pressures and labour challenges are expected to persist and we will continue to work hard across the group to attract, recruit and retain talent, and with our customers, to mitigate the impact,” added the CEO.
Earlier this month, Bakkavor announced a recruitment drive for 1,500 food production jobs across its 23 UK factories.