Greggs enjoys busy festive sales
Greggs enjoyed a busy festive trading period as like-sales increased by 3.1% in the five weeks to 4 January 2014. Total sales rose by 4.8% in the period.
The baked goods retailer said there was strong demand for its core food-on-the-go products over the Christmas period with growth in sales of sandwiches, savouries, sweet bakery and drinks. Festive treats such as mince pies also sold well.
In a trading update issued today, Greggs also reported on sales for the full year to 28 December 2013. Total sales rose by 3.8% while like-for-like sales dropped by 0.8%, which the retailer said was a reflection of difficult trading conditions earlier in the year. However, like-for-like sales growth improved as the year progressed to reach 2.6% in the fourth quarter.
Greggs, which operates 1,671 shops across the UK, said it was making good progress with its strategic plan announced in August 2013. This includes accelerating its shop refit programme and making improvements to products and customer service.
The retailer said it is also planning to make structural changes to improve the supply chain and reduce general overhead costs in 2014. Proposals include moving in-store bakery work to regional bakeries and restructuring the management and support teams across the UK, which could result in around 400 jobs becoming redundant.
Commenting on the trading, Greggs chief executive Roger Whiteside said: "I am encouraged by the improvement in trading that we achieved as we progressed through the year, in part reflecting our new 'Bakery food-on-the-go' strategy. As a result, full year results should be in line with our previous expectations. Whilst we face a number of challenges in the coming year we remain confident that we can make further progress with our strategic plan in 2014."
During 2013, Greggs opened 68 new shops, including 15 franchised units, and increased the number of shop closures to 68. The retailer also completed a record 261 shop refurbishments throughout the year.
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