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Greggs predicts big profit rise

Greggs has said it expects to achieve significant growth in its first half operating profits as it new strategy helps to boost sales.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Greggs predicts big profit rise

Greggs has said it expects to achieve significant growth in its first half operating profits as it new strategy helps to boost sales.

The bakery chain said own shop like-for-like sales rose by 3.2% in the 26 weeks to 28 June while total sales grew by 3.1%.

In a statement Greggs said: “Whilst our year-on-year performance has benefited from comparison with a period of weak trading in 2013, sales growth is also being driven by initiatives that have further improved our products, availability, service and value.”

During the 26 week period, Greggs completed 131 shop refurbishments in line with its plan to refit around 200 shops during 2014. It also opened 26 new shops and closed 36 shops, giving a total of 1,661 shops trading at 28 June. In addition, the company has disposed of a number of surplus freehold properties in the year to date to realise property profits of £1.4 million.

As a result of the improved trading, Greggs now expects to show operating profits of around £16 to £17 million for its first half compared to £11.5 million in the same period a year ago.

Looking ahead, Greggs said: “Sales comparables strengthen in the second half although the risk of further input cost inflation appears to be reducing. Overall, we expect to deliver an improved financial result for the year and further progress against our strategic plan.”

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