Tom Keighley

Greggs reveal successful Christmas

High street baker Greggs has reported a successful Christmas and New Year period.

Like-for-like sales grew 5.1% in the five weeks leading up to January 7, from a year earlier.

The figures are stripped of the sales from across a number of new stores opened by the chain.

Expansion lead to the opening of 84 new outlets and a total of 800 new jobs, growing the workforce to over 20,000 for the first time.

Chief Executive Ken McMeikan, said: “An excellent Christmas boosted our sales performance at the end of a tough year for high streets.

“For the five week Christmas and New Year trading period ending 7 January 2012, total sales grew by 10.8 per cent and like-for-like sales by 5.1 per cent.

“Highlights during the Christmas period included record sales of our award-winning sweet mince pies with more than seven and a half million sold since the launch of our seasonal range, a 27 per cent increase in sales of Festive Bakes and coffee sales up 21 per cent.

“Rising food and energy costs have been a feature of 2011 but to reduce the impact on customers we have continued to invest in promotional activity in order to maintain our value position in what has remained a very competitive market.

“Despite these pressures, we anticipate that we will report full year results in line with expectations when we make our preliminary announcement on 14 March 2012.”

Mr McMeikan went on to say that he thought 2012 would be a challenging year for the high street, but said Greggs would build on their reputation for value through product innovation and promotional activity.

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