Food and Drink

Greggs swings to £65.2m HY loss

Greggs has reported a pre-tax loss of £65.2m during the 26 weeks to June 27, compared with a £36.7m profit last year.

During the six month period, the food-to-go specialist reported a 45% decrease in like-for-like sales to £300.6m, compared with £546.3m in the same period last year. Gross profit decreased to £177.7m compared with £352.6m in 2019.

However, the company said it has seen “encouraging sales trends” since reopening, with its latest week reaching 72% of 2019 level.

Greggs also suspended its interim dividend, attributing financial uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On 23 March Greggs announced the temporary closure of its entire shop estate due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. But trialled the reopening in a small number of shops in early May.

In June, the company announced around 800 shops would be open for takeaway with new social distancing measures put in place, and most recently Greggs announced the reopening of the rest of the shop estate to takeaway customers.

Roger Whiteside, CEO, said: “Following successive years of unbroken growth Greggs made a great start to 2020, coming into the year with momentum and clear strategic plans. 

“The strength of our business model enabled us to secure the liquidity needed to support our business through the current crisis and then to adapt our operation and strategic investment plans in response to the new environment.” 

He added: “I want to thank the amazing team of people in our business who have risen to the challenges created by this crisis both in supporting the wider community and working together to redesign our operation to work safely under these new conditions.

 “Greggs is now well prepared to deal with the challenges of social distancing and operate through the conditions we are faced with. Greggs remains a much-loved brand with long-term growth opportunities and the business is better placed to adapt to new conditions than ever before.”

In the first half of 2020 the company opened 20 new shops, including seven franchised units and closed 45, giving a total estate of 2,025 shops (of which 307 are franchise units) as at 27 June 2020.

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