Greggs on target to meet ambitious growth plans

Greggs healthy shop, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton

Greggs has seen sales increase 3.6% like-for-like so far this year and is expecting to meet its growth targets, having already opened 42 new shops – but it remains cautious as a slowing in consumer spending means its sales outlook for H2 is far from guaranteed.

A strong start to the year has seen the firm refit 87 shops, open 42 and close 14. It said that new shop openings remain focused on new food-on-the-go locations, the relocation of existing shops and new catchments such as Northern Ireland and the south west of England.

Earlier this year, it said that it wanted to open 140 to 150 new shops in 2017, in line with its previous opening campaign in 2016 where it opened 145 new outlets.

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It will continue to invest in new systems and will likely look to continue the roll-out of Middleby UK’s Turbochef Sota ovens as it converts and opens new outlets.

In a statement, the company said: “We have made a good start to 2017 although the sales outlook remains uncertain in the context of slowing growth in disposable incomes.

“Input cost inflation is having a modest impact on margins in the first half of the year as expected, however we have increasing visibility of costs for the second half and anticipate this pressure to ease towards the end of the year. Whilst this pattern will constrain profit growth in the first half of the year we expect to make progress in line with our previous expectations for the year as a whole”

The company currently has around 1,800 retail outlets throughout the country but has indicated it wants to own “substantially more than 2000 shops”.

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