Pre-tax profits slide 18.9% at Greggs

Pre-tax profits have slid 18.9% to £41.3m at Greggs Plc following a "significant year of change" that saw the North East's leading bakers switch focus to food-on-the-go

Greggs have continued to open new stores across the UK
A Greggs shop in Newcastle

Pre-tax profits have slid 18.9% to £41.3m at Greggs Plc following a “significant year of change” that saw the North East’s leading bakers switch focus to food-on-the-go.

Total sales for the Newcastle-headquartered business, for the year ended December 28 2013, were up 3.8% to £762.4m, but overall, like-for-like sales were also down, by 0.8%.

Despite the fall, Greggs remained upbeat, citing improving trading in the second half of the year, with sales up 1.2%, a figure which rose to 2.6% in the fourth quarter.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside, who has steered Greggs through the changed focus since taking up his post last February, said: “2013 was a year of transition for Greggs as our new strategic focus centred on the growing food-on-the-go market. Whilst total sales for the year rose to 3.8% like-for-like sales were down 0.8% reflecting the tough and competitive trading conditions.

“However, I am encouraged by the improvement in performance in recent months as our new strategic focus started to deliver benefits.

Market conditions are expected to remain challenging in 2014. It will be a year of further change for Greggs as we move forward with our plan to focus on the food-on-the-go market and build on positive recent trading momentum.”

The year saw the record refit of 216 shops and overall the number of shops across the country has been unchanged, with 68 closures and openings.

The company now operates 1,671 stores, including 25 franchised units.

The dividend per share has been maintained at 19.5p.

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