Bakery goods retailer Greggs has today reported a healthy rise in like-for-like (LFL) trading over the festive period and a slight increase in sales for its full-year period.
In the five weeks ending January 7th 2012 LFLs rose 5.1 per cent compared to the same period last year, while in its full 52-week year ending December 31st 2011 LFL trading improved by just 1.4 per cent against 2010 results.
The launch of the brand‘s festive range helped boost transactions, with sweet mince pies proving particularly popular and the sale of Festive Bakes up 27 per cent year-on-year.
CEO of Greggs Ken McMeikan highlighted that rising food and energy costs had been a major feature of the past year for the firm, affecting margins, but that these pressures had lessened in recent months and he added that the Baker remains on track to meet its full-year profit predictions.
A whopping 98 stores were opened by the retailer in 2011, whilst 14 were closed bringing the total portfolio to 1,571, and further investment was put into 170 shop refurbishments and the creation of 800 additional jobs.
McMeikan added: “An excellent Christmas boosted our sales performance at the end of a tough year for high streets.
“We anticipate that the tough trading environment will continue during 2012, with consumers‘ disposable incomes remaining under pressure. We will therefore continue to focus on maximising our customer appeal through product innovation and strong promotional activity, building on Greggs‘ already excellent reputation for value.”
Greggs is set to create another 800 jobs in the next year and McMeikan anticipates similarly marginal LFL growth in sales for the full-year period, as seen in 2011.