Sales rise at Greggs in Q4 amid solid demand for festive treats

Sales rise at Greggs in Q4 amid solid demand for festive treats
© Reuters

By Scott Kanowsky — Greggs PLC (LON:GRG) has posted an 18.2% rise in like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter, as the British food-to-go retailer famous for its sausage rolls was boosted by strong demand for seasonal treats that helped offset the impact of adverse weather and rail strikes.

The increase pushed up the company’s expected annual total sales to a better-than-expected mark of £1.51 billion (£1 = $1.2030), a 23.0% jump compared to the equivalent period in 2021.

In a statement, Greggs also predicted that it will report its full-year outcome in line with previous expectations, citing solid trading and cost controls. The firm will unveil its preliminary 2022 results on March 7.

It added that it is confident in delivering good progress in 2023 despite facing headwinds from continued “material” inflation pressures. Greggs said it plans to use its cash position of £191 million at the end of 2022 to grow its supply chain capacity and open around 150 new stores this year.

Analysts at Shore Capital called Greggs’ full-year performance “impressive” given the effect of recent labor actions by rail workers in the U.K. on the country’s hospitality industry. They described the firm as resilient heading into a new year that looks to be challenging for British consumers already dealing with elevated food prices.

Shares in Greggs rose by as much as 1.4% in early trading on Thursday before paring back some of those gains.