In Brief

How Greggs is bucking the high street gloom

Vegan sausage roll and demand for affordable food boosts chain

Shares in Greggs rose by more than 15% after the chain revealed that total sales for the six weeks to 9 November were up 12.4%.

The company has raised its profit guidance for the fourth time this year as it continues to buck the high street gloom.

“Sales growth continues to be driven by increased customer visits and has been stronger than we had expected,” the company revealed in a trading update yesterday.

“The board now anticipates that full-year underlying profit before tax will be higher than our previous expectations.”

The company, which has more than 2,000 stores across the UK, has continued to “thrive”, The Guardian says, despite the “malaise afflicting many businesses”.

According to Sky News, “the retailer's buoyant outlook has in part been fuelled by the soar-away success of its vegan sausage roll” which was launched earlier this year.

The vegan pastry, filled with a bespoke Quorn filling and made using vegetable oil instead of butter, went on sale in 950 stores across the country in January. It cost £1 – 5p more than the original.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell told The Guardian: “The products Greggs sells might not always be the healthiest but its business looks in good shape” because “in a busy world where people don’t always have time to stop for a sit down meal, there has to be a place for outlets which offer affordable hot and cold food”.

Retail analyst Nick Bubb told City AM: “Weak footfall may be a problem for many high street retailers, but Greggs is having no problem in pulling in customers and today’s unscheduled update flags that the business is still on a roll.”

The company’s share price has risen 59% since this time last year, when it was at 1,187p, and by 49% since the start of 2019.

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