| UK

Greggs hits £1bn sales but warns of ‘significant uncertainties’ ahead

Bakery and coffee chain bucks challenging UK retail environment to post £1bn revenues and pre-tax 14.8% pre-tax profits increase of 14.8% to £82.6m

Greggs continues to buck the high street slowdown with like-for-likes up 9.6% in the seven weeks to 16 February 2019

Greggs credited growth categories including hot drinks, breakfast and hot food for its strong 2018 performance. The bakery and coffee chain added ‘exceptional’ sales had been bolstered by publicity surrounding the launch of its vegan sausage roll in late 2018.

Robust have sales continued into 2019, with Greggs recording company-managed shop like-for-likes up 9.6% in the seven weeks to 16 February 2019. But despite the positive results, Chief Executive, Roger Whiteside, indicated the chain could not be complacent amid challenging conditions for high street traders and the wider UK economy.

“Whilst there are significant uncertainties in the months ahead, Greggs has started 2019 in great form, helped in part by the publicity surrounding the launch of our vegan-friendly sausage roll. We hope to continue benefiting from this strong momentum during the first half of 2019 before facing stronger comparatives later in the year,” Whiteside said.

Uncertainty over the UK's future relationship with the EU continues to hamper business confidence in the UK. In March 2019, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) warned the UK economy would plunge into recession following a no-deal Brexit, with even an orderly EU exit impeding economic growth to around 0.8% in 2019.

In a press statement, Greggs also revealed it was building logistics capacity for a 2,500-store portfolio. 2018 saw Greggs open 99 net new stores in 2018 for a total of 1,953 locations. Allegra research shows hot beverages comprise at least 12.5% of sales at more than 950 of the chain’s stores.
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