Greggs’ vegan sausage roll drives bumper 58% rise in profits

Bakery chain hails 'best sales growth yet' following popularity of meat-free snack amid Brexit fears 

Tuesday 30 July 2019 15:35 BST
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Tasting the Greggs vegan sausage roll

Greggs has reported bumper profits after the launch of its vegan sausage roll helped drive a surge in customer numbers.

The bakery chain posted a 58 per cent rise in first-half profit, as well as underlying pretax profit of £40.6m pounds in the six months to 29 June.

That was up from £25.7m pounds in the same period last year.

It marked the company's best ever sales growth, according to the Financial Times.

Total sales across its outlets rose 14.7 per cent to £546m, while like-for-like sales at company-managed shops were up 10.5 per cent.

Despite the stellar performance, there was no upgrade to full-year expectations, which some investors had been anticipating, as the company said it would reinvest in strategic areas.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside said: "Given the strength of our year to date and the outlook, we have decided to increase investment in strategic initiatives in the second half of the year to help to deliver an even stronger customer proposition and further growth in the years ahead. Our expectations for underlying profits for the year as a whole remain unchanged."

The investments will focus on improved service in shops and online, as well as better availability of hot food options.

The vegan-friendly sausage roll gave greggs an exceptional sales boost this year (Greggs)

Analysts at Peel Hunt said the current outstanding trading could be the point of "peak Greggs", with the outlook less upbeat.

Greggs said a "disorderly exit" from the European Union would have a negative impact on the business, including the supply chain and consumer demand.

The company has already said it will stockpile key ingredients and equipment ahead of Brexit in case of disruption.

It is also facing higher input costs, in part due to African Swine Fever in China, which has pushed pork prices higher.

Press Association

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