Greggs profits rise on back of new store openings

The bakery says a focus on hot drinks and healthier food has helped its profits rise

James Davey
Tuesday 27 February 2018 10:19 GMT
Greggs ended the year with 1,854 outlets
Greggs ended the year with 1,854 outlets (Rex)

High street baker Greggs acceded forecasts with a 2 per cent rise in profit during 2017, helped by new store openings and extensions to its product ranges, it said on Tuesday.

The firm, which is transforming itself from a traditional bakery business into a broader takeaway food retailer, said the UK consumer outlook remained challenging but was encouraged by the start it had made to the new year.

Greggs made a pretax profit before one-off items of £81.8m for the year to 30 December 2017 – in line with analysts’ expectations and up from £80.3m in 2016.

Total sales rose 7.4 per cent to £960m. Like-for-like sales in company-managed shops were up 3.7 per cent and are up 3.2 per cent in the eight weeks to 24 February.

Greggs, which is based in Newcastle, said it had benefited from improvements to its product range, with a focus on hot drinks, hot food and healthier options. It opened 131 new shops (with 41 closures) in 2017, ending the year with 1,854 outlets, and plans a record number of new shops during 2018.

The firm also raised its dividend 4.2 per cent to 32.3 pence.

“Greggs continues to demonstrate its resilience in the face of economic uncertainty,” said its chairman Ian Durant.

“This environment seems unlikely to change in the short term as the UK negotiates its exit from the European Union, with the associated risks to consumer confidence and further cost inflation.”

Shares in Greggs, up 30 per cent over the last year, closed on Monday at 1,312 pence, valuing the business at £1.3bn.


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