Greggs reports strong 2015

Greggs, one of the UK’s leading sausage roll, pasty and bakery retailers, experienced a growth of 5.2% in total sales for the 2015 financial year.

Based on a comparable 52-week basis, ending 2 January 2016, company-managed shop like-for-like sales also grew by 4.7%.

“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,” explained chief executive Roger Whiteside.

“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.”

As was expected, like-for-like sales slowed to 2.3% in the fourth quarter of 2015. This was attributed to strong comparatives and weaker footfall in certain locations.

The company’s food-to-go sector, which includes a hot sandwich range and fresh soups, is said to be performing well among consumers as they become increasingly aware of the to-go options. Demand for breakfast-on-the-go is making the earlier hours of the day the busiest.

2015 saw the opening of 122 new shops, including 61 franchised units, while 74 closed. As of 2 January 2016, the business is made up of 1,698 shops, with 105 franchised shops operated by partners in travel and other convenience locations.

Last year also saw the completion of 222 shop refurbishments. This included the conversion of 20 larger bakery cafés to the “bakery food-on-the-go” format. The retailer plans to invest at a similar transformational rate for 2016.

Greggs’ trading update concluded that since its last update, trading had been consistent with plans, with expectations to report full-year results in line with previous predictions when the preliminary announcement is made on 1 March 2016.

2016 will see the business continue with the implementation of its strategic plan to transform the business, resulting in it becoming more competitive in the food-to-go market, alongside driving efficiencies and adding capacity for further sustainable growth.

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