Greggs reports better than expected sales
Bakery chain Greggs has said it traded well in its third quarter with like-for-like sales climbing slightly ahead of expectations at 4.9%.
In the 13 weeks to 3 October, total sales grew by 5% as the retailer benefited from increased customer visits and transaction values.
The figures mean that like-for-like sales have increased by 5.6% in the year to date while total sales have grown by 5.1%.
Greggs has refurbished 158 shops in the current year and is on track to complete around 200 shops this year. It has also opened 65 new shops in 2015, including 35 franchised units predominantly in transport locations. The closure of 47 shops means the retailer now has a total of 1,668 shops comprising 1,588 of its own shops and 80 franchised units.
The retailer has been working with franchise partners to help it establish a presence in previously inaccessible locations, particularly transport sites. Partnering with Euro Garages, it has developed Greggs outlets in 30 in Euro forecourt sites and has now agreed to extend this to a further 27 sites in the fourth quarter. As a result, Greggs expects its shop numbers for the full year to increase by a net 50 to 60 overall.
Greggs said it has also been looking at ways to extend its distribution network, particularly in the south-east of England. This has led to the acquisition of a freehold distribution depot adjacent to its existing bakery in Enfield which will be brought into use in the second half of 2016.
In a statement, Greggs said: “Our sales performance is slightly ahead of our previous plan and, whilst comparatives will stiffen further in the fourth quarter, sales will benefit from additional shop openings. As a result we expect to deliver good growth for the year, slightly ahead of our previous expectations, and further progress against our strategic plan.”
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