Greggs on momentum as sales hit pre-pandemic levels and profits soar
Greggs is targeting 3,000 stores in the UK after seeing trade surpass pre-pandemic levels in recent weeks.
The Newcastle takeout chain has released its first half results in which revenue reached £ 546.2million and the company made a pre-tax profit of £ 55.5million.
This compares to a loss of £ 64.5million last year, when sales were almost identical to those seen in the first half of 2019, before the pandemic and various local and national lockdowns pushed Greggs to significant losses.
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And the company said sales in the past 13 weeks had actually beaten the same time frame in 2019, giving it confidence to raise profit expectations, push for 500 jobs and move to parts of the world. countries where it was not previously represented.
Greggs also plans to upgrade its hot drink machines to offer more options, including coffee-free and dairy-free hot drinks, while saying its new stores would have kitchens that would allow customers to order in advance. “customizable” sandwiches and pizzas.
Managing Director Roger Whiteside said: “Greggs once again showed his resilience during a tough first half, coming out of months of lockdown in a strong position and rebuilding sales as social restrictions were gradually eased.
“We continue to make good progress in our strategic priorities, by developing the store base and investing in our digital capacities to be competitive on all channels and all time slots in our market.
“Although there are general uncertainties in the market, given our recent performance, we now expect full year profit to be slightly above our previous expectations.”
In light of his good performance, Greggs repaid the money he received from the government as part of the leave program and reinstated his dividend to shareholders.
After opening 48 new stores and closing 11 in the first half of the year, Greggs said he expected to have around 100 net openings throughout the year, with the most likely to be in ” locations accessible by car “such as roadsides, petrol stations, retail parks and supermarkets.
The company currently has 2,115 stores.
He added that the reduction in rents following the recent spate of store closings has allowed him to also open stores in central London and transport exchanges that were previously beyond the reach of his business model.