Greggs closes three bakeries across UK with 355 jobs lost

But the chain is planning to open "substantially more" than 2000 new stores

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The Independent Online

Greggs is set to close three of its 12 regional bakeries in Twickenham, Edinburgh and Sleaford, Lincs, with 355 jobs set to go, despite clocking in a strong year.

Bosses decided to shut down the factories, warning that they were unsuitable for a new £100 million investment programme.

They will use the savings from the closures to invest heavily in the remaining sites.

Gregs has around 1,700 outlets in the UK, where customers buy the goods made at the 12 bakeries. That's double the 842 branches of Starbucks in the UK and more even than McDonald's which has around 1,200 franchises, according to Barbara Speed at City Metric.

It has plans to increase this number to "at least 2000" as part of the investment programme.

Finance director Richard Hutton added that a store refit programme had proved successful, winning over lunchtime crowds, and customers were turning to healthier options.

He said: “In general terms, the strongest part of our range has been the balanced choice area which is now 10 per cent of what we sell.” However, he added that sausage rolls remain the best-selling product.

The redundancies come as the sausage roll purveyor revealed sales jumped 5.2 per cent to £835.7 million in 2015, with pretax profits up 25.4 per cent to £73 million.

Shares jumped 151p, or 14.5 per cent, to 1186p.