Greggs boosted by strong sales after easing of lockdown restrictions
Greggs has said it has seen a strong recovery in sales following the easing of lockdown restrictions across the UK.
In a trading statement, the retailer said sales in the 10 weeks to 13 March fell by 23.3% compared to the same period two years ago, but improved to a decline of 3.9% in the eight weeks to 8 May.
Meanwhile, total sales in the 18 weeks to 8 May 2021 were £352 million compared to £280 million a year ago and £373 million in 2019.
Greggs said it saw a significant pick-up in sales with the reopening of non-essential retail from 12 April. Given this, it now believes that its full year profits are likely to be materially higher than its previous expectation, and could be around 2019 levels in the absence of further restrictions.
Greggs said: “Sales have recovered well in recent weeks as out-of-home activity levels have increased, albeit in the absence of competition from indoor seated catering operators. If restrictions continue to ease in line with current plans then we now expect our overall sales performance for the year to be stronger than we had previously anticipated. Costs have been well-controlled and the rate of cost inflation we are experiencing is in line with our plans for the year.”
In the first 18 weeks of 2021, the retailer opened 34 new shops, including 13 with franchise partners. It is currently focusing its openings on locations such as retail parks and roadside and petrol filling stations due to their stronger performance during the coronavirus pandemic.
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