Greggs reports strong annual results

Greggs, the leading bakery food-on-the-go retailer in the UK, with over 1,750 retail outlets, has reported its preliminary results for the 52 weeks ended 31 December 2016.

Total sales for the group grew by 7.0% to £894.2m (2015: £835.7m), and company-managed shop like-for-like sales rose by 4.2% (2015: 4.7%).

Operating profit excluding property profits and exceptional items grew by 8.6% to £78.1m (2015: £71.9m).

Pre-tax profit excluding exceptional items stood at £80.3m (2015: £73.0m), and pre-tax profit £75.1m (2015: £73.0m).

Greggs has seen a growing strength in the food-on-the-go market, and made further improvements to product range, including extended choice in hot drinks and hot food. The 'Balanced Choice' range of healthier options now accounts for over 10% of sales.

The firm refurbished 208 shops, and now 92% of shop estate have been transformed to food-on-the-go format

During the period, 145 new shops opened, and there were 79 closures (66 net openings); there were 1,764 shops trading at 31 December 2016

The group's £100m, five-year investment programme in manufacturing and distribution operations commenced.

Current trading shows that company-managed shop like-for-like sales are up by 2.0% in 8 weeks to 25 February 2017. Underlying (excluding New Year trading pattern) company-managed shop like-for-like sales in weeks 2 to 8 up by 2.9%

Roger Whiteside, Chief Executive, said, 'In 2016 we delivered another strong performance as we continued on our journey to transform Greggs from a traditional bakery business into a modern, attractive food-on-the-go retailer. Our product offer is evolving to meet the changing needs of our customers and our shop estate and service levels have benefited from significant investment.

'The UK consumer outlook is more challenging than we have seen in recent years, with industry-wide pressures emerging in commodities as well as labour costs. However we are confident of making further progress as we implement our plan to grow Greggs as a contemporary food-on-the-go brand.'