High street bakery Greggs said it had a “strong finish” to 2018 as it reported its total sales for the year were up by 7.2% for the 52 weeks ended 29 December 2018.
This follows a year of “significant strategic progress” where the company saw 149 new shops opened in the year and 50 closures, bringing its portfolio to 1,953 shops trading as of 29 December 2018.
Its company-managed shops saw its like-for-like sales go up by 2.9% for the year. Greggs said it expected its full year underlying profit before tax expected to be at least £88m, which is ahead of its previous guidance.
The bakery chain also expects to open 90-100 new outlets this year.
Chief executive Roger Whiteside said: “We delivered a very strong finish to 2018 despite the well-publicised challenges in the consumer sector. This performance was broad-based, reflecting the strength of our range of freshly-prepared food and drinks, and the strategic changes that we have made in recent years to focus more effectively on the food-on-the-go market.
“In the year ahead, we will continue to innovate with products designed to reflect changing consumer tastes, and by opening in new locations that make Greggs even more accessible to customers. The investments that we are making in our supply chain will allow us to deliver the outstanding value and quality that Greggs is famous for across a growing shop estate.”