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    Gregg posts robust first-half results amid inflation

    (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

    Greggs on Monday (2) posted robust first-half results and noted that it has not seen any significant changes in spending patterns in its stores due to the cost of living crisis.

    The food-to-go chain saw its total sales climb 27.1 percent to £694.5 million over the 26 weeks to 2 July, with like-for-likes growing 22.4 percent as the business recovered from the effects of Covid restrictions last year. LFL sales were also 12.3 percent higher than the comparable pre-pandemic period in 2019.

    However, pre-tax profit was flat at £55.8m, which Greggs said was primarily due to the re-introduction of business rates, an increase in VAT, and higher levels of cost inflation.

    During the period, Greggs opened 70 new shops and closed 12 to leave a total of 2,239 stores at the period end. It also made its offering more accessible to customers with extended trading hours and introduced new products focused on healthier choices, hot food and the evening daypart.

    “In a market where consumer incomes are under pressure Greggs offers exceptional value for customers looking for food and drink on-the-go,” said CEO Roisin Currie.

    “We are well positioned to navigate the widely publicised challenges affecting the economy and continue to have a number of exciting growth opportunities ahead, with a clear strategy for expansion.”

    “As of yet, we haven’t seen changes in customer behaviour,” Currie said, speaking to Reuters.

    “We’re expecting more pressure on our consumers as we go into autumn with the energy prices, so we will continue to stay very focused on it and continue to watch the market.”

    Currie noted that when Greggs raised prices by 5 pence to 10 pence in May, it did not see an impact on transactions. She speculated that with Greggs having an average spend of just under £4, customers were still comfortable parting with their money.

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