Greggs saw its two-year like-for-like (LFL) sales close the gap to just a 3.9% decline for the eight weeks to 8 May.
It follows a 13.5% fall in LFL sales for the 18 weeks to 8 May when compared to FY19, as the group also showed signs of recovery following the 12 April reopening of non-essential retail. It added that its two-year LFL growth has been “positive” since the opening of non-essential retail on 12 April.
Moreover, while the bakery’s two-year LFL sales declined from £373m to £352m, the FY21 period represented a 25.7% year-on-year climb.
The group’s delivery sales now total 8.2% of its managed shop sales, having “successfully rolled out” delivery services at 800 of its UK sites.
In total, its portfolio of shops grew by a net sum of 23, following the opening of 34 stores and closure of 11 sites thus far in 2021.
Looking ahead, Greggs claimed that “profits are likely” to be higher than previously expected for the remainder of FY21.
The group said: “Sales have recovered well in recent weeks as out-of-home activity levels have increased, albeit in the absence of competition from indoor seated catering operators.
“If restrictions continue to ease in line with current plans then we now expect our overall sales performance for the year to be stronger than we had previously anticipated.”
It added that “costs have been well-controlled” and the company’s current rate of cost inflation is “in line with our plans for the year”.