Greggs hails 'resilient' first half performance
Greggs has posted an increase in sales and profit in the first half of its financial year despite facing a “tough operating environment”.
Company-managed shop like-for-like sales rose by 1.5% in the six months to 30 June, while total sales increased by 5.2% to £476 million.
Meanwhile, pre-tax profit including property profits and exceptional charges climbed to £24.1 million from £19.4 million in the same period in the previous year.
Greggs said the results were achieved despite trade being significantly affected by extremes of weather and increased consumer caution.
The company said it continued to see strong growth in sales of hot drinks, breakfast items, healthier choices and hot food in the six months. These growth categories now account for 30% of sales compared to 15% in 2013.
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Roger Whiteside, Greggs chief executive, said: "Greggs has delivered a resilient performance despite challenging market conditions and we have continued to make good progress with our strategic investment programme to transform the business into the customers' favourite for food-on-the-go.”
During the period Greggs opened 59 new shops and closed 25. It also increased its presence in transport locations with the opening of its first store in a tube station in London’s Westminster and new shops at Birmingham New Street station, Glasgow Buchanan bus station and East Midlands Airport. It also launched its second drive thru store. At the end of June Greggs had 1,888 shops trading.
Looking ahead Whiteside said: “While we remain cautious in respect of the outlook for sales in the balance of the year given the consumer backdrop, we are confident in the medium and long-term growth potential for the business, supported by customers' response to our initiatives, our strong cash generation and the ongoing strategic investments that we are making.”
The company said full year underlying profit before exceptional costs is likely to be at a similar level to 2017.
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