Newcastle-based bakery and “food-on-the-go” retailer Greggs said its sales for the 26 weeks to July 1, 2017, grew 7.3% to £453 million, with like-for-like sales in company-managed shops up 3.4%.
Despite cost inflation, operating profit before property gains and exceptional items grew 1.8% to £27.6 million.
“We continue to see exciting potential for growth in our shop estate and opened 61 new shops in the first half of 2017 — including 24 franchised units — and closed 19 shops, giving a total of 1,806 shops, of which 181 are franchise units, trading at 1 July 2017,” said Greggs CEO Roger Whiteside in his report.
“We opened our first ‘Drive-Thru’ shop at Irlam, Greater Manchester, in June and have been encouraged by its popularity, indicating a demand for further Drive-Thru locations.
“We also continued to expand the estate in the south-west of England and in Northern Ireland whilst adapting our formats to suit locations such as garage forecourts.
“Our pipeline of new shop opportunities remains strong and we continue to expect around 100 net openings in the year as a whole.”
In his outlook, Whiteside added: “We have made a good start to the second half of the year and are confident that the strategic investments we are making will enable the business to continue delivering further profitable growth.
“In the short term we remain alert to pressures building on consumers’ disposable income and the continuing economic uncertainty.
“Over the year as a whole we expect to deliver results in line with our previous expectations as well as further progress against our strategic plan.”