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Greggs posts strong sales amid improved UK trading but rising costs cause concern

UK food-to-go and coffee chain Greggs reports like-for-like sales increased 27.4% in the first 19 weeks of 2022, but warns that ‘considerable uncertainties’ remain amid rising inflation and costs


Greggs outlets at transport hubs have witnessed an uptick in footfall since the start of 2022 | Photo credit: Greggs



Greggs has reported another period of positive sales and outlet growth, with trading conditions continuing to normalise following the gradual easing of Covid-19 trading conditions that began a year ago. 
 
Total sales in the 19 weeks to 14 May 2022 were £495m ($604.9m), compared with £378m ($461.9m) in the same period last year.
 
The UK-based food-to-go and coffee chain said like-for-like sales in company-managed outlets grew 27.4% in the first 19 weeks of 2022, with the company forecasting modest increases for the remainder of the year as trading conditions begin to ‘normalise’.
 
Sales in larger cities and office locations continued to ‘lag’ the rest of the chain’s estate, Greggs said, but transport hubs had shown an uptick in footfall.
 
Like-for-like sales growth in the most recent ten weeks to 14 May averaged 15.8%, compared to the same period in 2021 when UK lockdown restrictions began to ease.
 
The company opened 49 new outlets since the start of 2022, including units at Birmingham and Liverpool airports, with Greggs now operating a total of 2,224 stores, 1,831 of which are company-managed and 393 are franchised outlets. Six stores were permanently closed during the period.
 
In March, Greggs revealed a target for a total of 3,000 stores by 2028, with 150 net new stores every year from 2022. The move has recently seen the company team up with Primark to open its largest store in the UK. 
 
Although sales were in line with the company’s projections for 2022, Greggs said it would work to mitigate the impact of rising cost pressures for consumers whilst protecting the company’s ‘reputation for exceptional value’.

Nevertheless, Greggs cautioned that 'considerable uncertainties’ remained for the year ahead due to rising inflation. 

Last year Greggs reported a 5.3% rise in revenues to £1.23bn ($1.66bn), surpassing the £811m earned in 2020 when UK Covid-19 restrictions were at their peak.

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