Bakery chain Greggs has reported for the 2018 financial year, total sales grew by 7.2% and company-managed shop like-for-like sales grew by 2.9%.
In the fourth quarter company-managed shop like-for-like sales grew by 5.2%, building on the strong trading performance that we reported in our November trading update.
Whilst seasonal products, such as Festive Bake and freshly-baked mince pies sold well, the firm also saw further progress in growth categories such as hot drinks and breakfast.
As the brand enters the new year, it continues to refresh the range to keep step with changing consumer tastes. The launch of the new vegan-friendly sausage roll has proved very popular with a broad range of customers, and can now be combined with our vegan-friendly winter vegetable soup in a meal deal.
During the year, 149 new shops opened (including 62 franchised units) and closed 50, growing the estate to 1,953 shops trading as at 29 December 2018, 262 of which are franchised shops operated by partners in travel and other convenience locations. In the year ahead, Greggs expects net shop openings to be in the 90-100 range.
Chief Executive Roger Whiteside commented, “We delivered a very strong finish to 2018 despite the well-publicised challenges in the consumer sector. This performance was broad-based, reflecting the strength of our range of freshly-prepared food and drinks, and the strategic changes that we have made in recent years to focus more effectively on the food-on-the-go market.
'In the year ahead, we will continue to innovate with products designed to reflect changing consumer tastes, and by opening in new locations that make Greggs even more accessible to customers. The investments that we are making in our supply chain will allow us to deliver the outstanding value and quality that Greggs is famous for across a growing shop estate.”