Demand For Healthier Options Supports Growth At Greggs

Greggs has reported robust growth in its third quarter to 1 October, supported by increasing demand for its new healthier food lines.

The high street chain said that trading had been in line with expectations with like-for-like sales rising by 3.4% and total sales up 5.6%.

Greggs, which has shifted from being a traditional bakery to focusing on food-to-go products, said the popularity of its summer menu, including an extended range of Balanced Choice salads and yoghurts, supported sales growth in the period. It also saw continued strong growth at breakfast time, helped by its coffee offer and value deals.

The group’s new autumn/winter menu includes new lower-calorie Balanced Choice bakes and soups along with a range of new snacks with gluten-free options.

In the year-to-date, Greggs has completed 145 shop refurbishments with it on track to refurbish around 200 shops this year. It also opened 103 new shops, including 41 franchised units predominantly in transport locations. However, it closed 58 shops, giving a total of 1,743 shops trading at 4 October (comprising 1,600 of company-owned shops and 143 franchised units).

For the full year, Greggs expects to open 140-150 shops and close circa 70-80, to give a net increase of around 70.

The group added that it was making good progress with the first stages of its supply chain investment plan. Work to facilitate a new distribution centre in Enfield is now finished and the site will be brought into operation in the coming weeks. As a result, it will complete the previously-announced closure of it Twickenham bakery in November.

Looking ahead, Greggs said: “Given trading to date and the outlook, our expectations for the full year outturn remain unchanged. As we look to next year, whilst we anticipate some general industry-wide cost pressures, we expect to make further progress against our strategic plan.”