UK's Greggs Says Vegan Sausage Roll A Hit, Guides Higher On Profit
Strong demand for its new vegan sausage roll drove a 14% rise in sales for British high-street baker Greggs in the first seven weeks of 2019 and prompted the company to promise underlying pre-tax profit ahead of previous expectations.
The positive outlook comes less than two months after the company nudged up its 2018 profit forecast to at least £88 million (€101.23 million), after demand for its festive bakes, mince pies, hot drinks and breakfast items led to a 'very strong' finish to the year.
Greggs is expected to announce results for the full year ended 29 December 2018 on 7 March.
'An Exceptionally Strong Start'
The company, which opened 149 new shops last year, to take its total to 1,953, noted that it had 'made an exceptionally strong start to 2019' and that comparative sales growth for the first half would be higher compared to last year, when sales were suppressed due to extreme weather across the UK.
Like-for-like sales in company-managed shops rose by 9.6% in the seven weeks to 16 February, and total sales grew by 14.1%, however, the company noted that the rate of growth in sales had eased slightly in February.
Pre-tax profit for 2019 is expected to average £88.6 million (€101.92 million), according to IBES data from Refinitiv.