LEGAL | Staff Reporter, UK

Greggs to open 100 new stores, predicts first annual loss

Total sales in the last 12 months fell more than 30%.

Greggs said it plans to open 100 new shops this year despite facing its first annual loss since listing in 1984.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside said in a trading update that the bakery chain continued to identify “good opportunities” for new shops with lower rents, and that sales at stores accessed by car had been roughly 10% higher compared to the rest of the estate.

Whiteside added that Greggs wanted to open “as many [shops] as possible” in central London and had opened two sites in St Pancras station at the end of 2020.

“Even if [travel hubs] come back at half the level they were before, they are still the busiest places for food-to-go on earth,” he said.

Greggs said total sales in the three months to the end of 2 January had fallen 14% to £293 million. Total sales for the 12 months to 2 January fell more than 30% to £811 million from 2019.

Because of this, it expected to report a pre-tax loss of up to £15 million for its financial year and did not expect sales to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022 at the earliest.

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