Greggs aims to double revenue to £2.4bn by 2026

Shares of Newcastle-based bakery and food retailer Greggs rose as much as 12% to a record high on Tuesday after it raised its full-year profit outlook and gave details of an ambitious target to double revenue to about £2.4 billion by 2026.

The company also said “there could also be potential for Greggs internationally.”

Greggs shares soared over £32 to give the firm a current stock market value of about £3.2 billion.

The shares of the Newcastle firm have risen about 150% over the past 12 months.

In its outlook, Greggs said: “Greggs has not been immune to the well-publicised pressures on staffing and supply chains and we have seen some disruption to the availability of labour and supply of ingredients and products in recent months. 

“Food input inflation pressures are also increasing; whilst we have short-term protection as a result of our forward buying positions we expect costs to increase towards the end of 2021 and into 2022.

Operational cost control has been good and the strong sales performance in the third quarter gives us confidence as we move into the autumn.  

“Subject to any unexpected COVID disruption we expect the full year outcome to be ahead of our previous expectations.”

Giving details for a capital markets day held on Tuesday, Greggs said: “Our strategic direction remains consistent — further growth in the shop estate will be supplemented by development of new channels in the food-on-the-go market.

Our success in recent years has enabled us to achieve a five per cent share of the food-on-the go market, despite offering our services primarily in the walk-in channel and limited to daytime opening hours. 

“As we scale Greggs to become a fully-fledged, multi-channel, food-on-the-go brand for all times of the day we have developed an ambitious target to double revenue to circa £2.4bn by 2026.

Our plans are based on the further opportunities that we see for Greggs in the UK market. 

“In the long term we think there could also be potential for Greggs internationally; we are conducting some very early analysis to help better understand the possible opportunity.”

In a third-quarter trading update, Greggs said it is planning to accelerate the rate of its net shop number growth to about 150 per year from 2022 with potential for at least 3,000 shops.

It said two-year like-for-like sales in company-managed shops rose 3.5% when compared with the same period in 2019 before the pandemic.

Delivery sales have continued to develop well, with 943 shops now involved in supplying customers through this channel,” added Greggs.

The broadening of our vegan-friendly food and drink options has been well received, notably the limited edition ‘Vegan Sausage, Bean & Cheeze Melt’ along with a ‘Vegan Ham & Cheeze Baguette’ and a vegan-friendly breakfast sausage. 

“Pizza and savoury boxes are supporting the delivery channel and our autumn menu is now available in shops, featuring favourites such as pumpkin spiced latte and spooky bats and buns for Halloween.”

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “Greggs is going global.

“The firm’s reinvention from a pretty tired discount baker to a refreshed food-on-the-go outlet with strong vegan credentials is testament to its management’s agility and poise and even as it contends with the aftermath of the pandemic and supply chain issues, it is not standing still.

“Looking through the current turmoil, Greggs has ambitions to be a much larger business in five years’ time and you couldn’t accuse its plan to double turnover by 2026 of being in any way cautious.

“While some of this will be delivered by new openings, including its first overseas sites since a modest experiment in Belgium in the noughties, Greggs is also looking to expand opening times into the early evenings too, supported by an enhanced delivery offering.

“By getting more out of existing sites, the company hopes to boost profitability and cash flow and ultimately translate this into a more generous portion of dividends for shareholders.

“Sometimes you have to take risks in business to get ahead and Greggs has looked at a somewhat hollowed out central London and spied a big opportunity, with plans to take advantage of depressed property costs by expanding its footprint in the capital.

“It’s when times are tough that management really earn their corn and despite seeing shortages on a daily basis and facing inflationary and staffing pressures it is impressive that the company still felt able to raise profit forecasts for 2021.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.