Greggs reports 6% sales boost for H1

Leading bakery food-on-the-go retailer Greggs has seen total sales rise 6% to £422m for the 26 weeks ended 2 July 2016.

Like-for-like sales in company-managed shops were up 3.8%.

Operating profit, excluding property gains and an exceptional charge of £4m in relation to restructuring, was up 6.7% to £27.2m (2015: £25.5m). During the period, the company made property disposal gains of £2.2m and notched up a pre-tax profit, including property profits and exceptional charges of £25.4m.

The company said highlights included the strengthening of its ‘Balanced Choice’ range. Meanwhile, breakfast remains the company’s fastest-growing part of the day and it successfully broadened its coffee range.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside said: “In the first half of 2016 we delivered good like-for-like growth by reinforcing the freshness and value of our offer in line with changing trends in the food-on-the-go market. We added to our ‘Balanced Choice’ range, with sales growing strongly.”

The retailer’s shop refurbishment programme to its ‘bakery food-on-the-go’ format has seen 86 shops refurbished year to date, with 200 planned for the whole year. In the period 68 new shops opened (including 31 franchise units) and 36 closed, with 1,730 shops in total trading as at 2 July 2016. It expects to open 70 net new shops over the year as a whole.

The company added that its new distribution facility in Enfield will be operation in October, allowing it to complete the closure of its existing Twickenham bakery in the fourth quarter. It has also secured planning permission for an extension to its Clydesmill bakery in Glasgow, enabling it to close its Edinburgh bakery in the second quarter of 2017.

Whiteside added: “We have made an encouraging start to the second half of the year and are alert to any change in consumer demand that may result from the current economic uncertainty. Overall, we expect to deliver full-year growth in line with our previous expectations, as well as further progress against our strategic plan.”

In June Greggs announced plans to extend its healthy eating options, including a gluten-free range.

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