Greggs’ success driven by popularity of vegan sausage rolls
Greggs has reported an uplift in sales and profit in the first half of the year as the company benefits from the popularity of its vegan sausage rolls
In the six months to 29 June, underlying pre-tax profit, excluding property gains and exceptional charges, was £40.6 million. This compares to a profit £25.7 million in the same period last year.
Company-managed shop like-for-like sales were up 10.5% in the period while total sales climbed by 14.7% to £546 million.
Greggs said its success in the period was driven by the popularity of its new vegan-friendly sausage rolls and its food-to-go offering. The company said breakfast-on-the-go remains the fastest-growing element of its trading day.
Roger Whiteside, Greggs chief executive, said: “Greggs has delivered an exceptional first half performance, building on the strong finish to 2018. We have continued to make strategic progress with our programmes of investment in infrastructure to support future growth and in developing the products and channels to market that will help achieve our ambition to be the customers’ favourite for food-on-the-go.”
Greggs opened 54 new shops and closed 23 in the period. It is expecting to have around 100 net new shops in the full year and is currently increasing its number of shops in travel locations such as railway stations, motorway services and airports.
The company said current trading remains strong, although it is expecting the rate of like-for-like growth to slow when it begins to face stronger comparative numbers in the second half of the year.
Looking ahead, Whiteside added: “Given the strength of our year to date and the outlook, we have decided to increase investment in strategic initiatives in the second half of the year to help to deliver an even stronger customer proposition and further growth in the years ahead. Our expectations for underlying profits for the year as a whole remain unchanged.”
The company is currently building stocks of key ingredients and equipment that could be affected by disruption to the flow of goods into the UK if there is a no deal Brexit.
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