Greggs sales hit by slowing retail market

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Greggs, Retailing

UK bakery group Greggs Plc has said its sales have slowed in recent
weeks on the back of a poor retail market.

In a trading update issued last week, the parent company of Bakers Oven and Greggs bakery chains revealed that a moderate increase in sales in the 19 weeks to October 29 was "more than offset" by poorer performance in recent weeks. "Trading conditions have proved less positive than we expected at the time of our interim results announcement in August, and we believe that this is attributable to the well- publicised weakness of the retail market as a whole," said managing director Sir Michael Darrington. "This is resulting in lower footfall on the high street, which is affecting both our brands but having a greater impact on Bakers Oven, whose format is more exposed to the effects of reduced consumer traffic," he added. Like-for-like sales for the period increased by 2.8 per cent, but the company said profits for the second half to date remain below budget and the level of last year. Greggs, which is now banking on a good performance during the Christmas period, said it expects to make "modest progress" over the year as a whole. The group opened 49 new shops this year, pushing up the total number of UK retail outlets to 1,312. It expects to open a further 11 stores before the end of the financial year. In August Greggs had reported a 15 per cent increase in pre-tax profit. However, over half of this increase was due to the rise in interest income received on the company's mounting cash pile, raising speculation that some of the group's mounting cash might be returned to shareholders as a special dividend. External links to companies or organisations mentioned in thisstory: Greggs Plc

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