UK's Greggs Makes ‘Very Strong’ Start To 2019
British baker and takeaway food group Greggs reported a 10% rise in 2018 profit and said it had made a "very strong" start to its new financial year, helped by continuing publicity surrounding the launch of its vegan sausage roll.
Greggs, which trades from over 1,950 UK outlets, also said on Thursday it would increase its total dividend by 10.5% to 35.7 pence a share and planned to declare a special dividend when it publishes interim results.
"2018 was a year that tested the resilience of Greggs' business model and demonstrated the benefits of our strategic investment programme,” said Roger Whiteside, the company’s chief executive.
“The first half was significantly impacted by extreme weather but once this returned to normal our underlying strengths helped us recover the lost ground and deliver results for the year that exceeded our expectations.”
Last month Greggs upgraded its profit outlook for 2019, saying the year had got off to a good start, boosted by the vegan sausage roll launch and sending its shares to a record high.
It said on Thursday that like-for-like sales in company managed shops increased 9.6% in the seven weeks to Feb. 16.
The firm made an underlying pretax profit of £89.8 million for the year to Dec. 29 - in line with company guidance of "at least" £88 million and up from £81.8 million made in 2017.
Total sales rose 7.2% to £1.03 billion, with like-for-like sales at company-managed shops up 2.9%.