Greggs fourth quarter sales hit by Covid-19 restrictions
Greggs saw its total sales reach £293 million in its fourth quarter compared to £344 million in the same period in the previous year.
In addition, company-managed shop like-for-like sales averaged 81.1% of the 2019 level.
In a trading update, the retailer said like-for-like sales company-managed shops in the five weeks to 31 October averaged 80.1% of that seen in 2019 but this fell to 76.7% in the four weeks to 28 November following the introduction of tighter trading restrictions due to Covid-19. In the five weeks to 2 January, like-for-like sales in company-managed shops averaged 85.7% of the 2019 level.
Greggs chief executive Roger Whiteside said: “Whilst the impact of Covid-19 has been enormous, we have established working practices that allow us to provide takeaway food services under the different levels of restrictions we have experienced. The breadth of Greggs’ customer base provides ongoing demand for our services which, combined with our diverse geographical spread, has demonstrated the resilience of our business. “
Greggs said it is continuing to develop its digital and national delivery offering in partnership with Just Eat, which is helping to support a recovery in sales levels. During the quarter, delivery accounted for 5.5% of company-managed shop sales.
Whiteside added: “With customers spending more time at home we have successfully developed our partnership with Just Eat to offer delivery services and have also seen strong sales through our longstanding partnership with Iceland, offering our products for home baking. We have resumed opening new shops where we see good opportunities, with those sites accessed by car performing particularly well.”
Greggs also completed an employee consultation programme in the quarter which resulted in 820 redundancies.
Looking ahead, the retailer said it does not expect profits to return to pre-Covid levels until 2022 at the earliest.
Whiteside added: “In light of the recent Government announcements significant uncertainties remain in the near-term. We have taken action to position Greggs to withstand further short-term shocks and are optimistic about our prospects for growth once social restrictions are lifted. I want to thank everyone who has supported Greggs through 2020. “
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