Baker Greggs Says February Trading Dented By Storms

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Baker Greggs Says February Trading Dented By Storms

British baker Greggs said on Tuesday it made a very strong start to 2020 in January but saw a significant slowdown in February due to widespread storms that kept shoppers away, taking the shine off a stellar 2019.

The group said company-managed shop like-for-like sales rose 7.5% in the nine weeks to February 29, having risen 9.2% in the year to December 28, 2019.

Greggs also cautioned there was some uncertainty in the outlook, particularly given the potential impact of coronavirus.

'Strong Position'

"This aside we expect to make year-on-year progress and will do so from a strong financial position," said chief executive Roger Whiteside.

The group, which trades from over 2,050 outlets in the UK, said 2019 pretax profit excluding exceptional items rose 27.2% to £114.2 million (€131.4 million), ahead of analysts' expectations.


Total sales rose 13.5% to £1.17 billion (€1.35 billion), helped by a net 97 new shop openings and the popularity of products such as its vegan-friendly sausage roll.

Greggs increased its total dividend by 25.8% to 44.9 pence and said it would consider payment of another special dividend at the time of its interim results.

Shares in the firm have risen 16% over the last year on the back of a series of positive updates. They closed Monday at 2,090 pence, valuing the business at £2.13 billion.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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