Greggs has welcomed a resilient performance in its third quarter of trading, with like-for-like sales up by 3.5% against 2019, despite ongoing supply chain issues and staff shortages.
Growth was particularly strong in August when the ‘staycation’ effect was evident, and remained in positive territory in September, with two-year like-for-like growth of 3% in the four weeks to 2 October.
Following this trading, the group now expects its full-year profits to be ahead of expectations. In its latest results, it also outlined an “ambitious” new target to double turnover over next five years to circa £2.4bn in 2026.
In a statement, the group said it has not, however, been “immune” to the current pressures on staffing and supply chains, and has witnessed some disruption to the availability of labour and supply of ingredients and products in recent months.
It warned that food input inflation pressures are also increasing, and it now expects costs to increase towards the end of 2021 and into the new year.
Nonetheless, it said operational cost control has been “good” and the strong sales performance in the third quarter “gives us confidence as we move into the autumn”.
It comes as the group has continued to concentrate on its delivery sales, with 943 shops offering the service, while 68 net new stores have been opened in the year-to-date.
Looking ahead, the group said it wants to concentrate on developing its multichannel sales by extending evening trading to more shops, building on its current delivery service and rolling out the new Greggs app to more customers.