GREGGS has boosted turnover in “challenging” conditions but the bakery giant’s profits dipped in the first half of the year.
The Newcastle-based business, which successfully fought off Government plans for a ‘pasty tax’ earlier this year, said the wet weather had hit high street trading.
But the chain, which has more than 1,600 shops UK-wide, said total sales rose by 4.5% to £350m, although there was a 2.3% fall in like-for-like sales. Pre-tax profits fell by £0.8m to £16.5m in the six months to June 30.
Greggs opened 33 new shops during the period and says it aims to open 90 over the course of the year. It has also expanded its Moto service station outlets to 30, creating 500 jobs.
Chief executive Ken McMeikan said: “Our total sales growth of 4.5% reflects the good performance from our new shop opening programme and strong growth in wholesale volumes.
“The market remained challenging and was particularly impacted by the record levels of rainfall in the second quarter with UK High Street footfall down over 7%.
“Greggs was not immune to this and our like-for-like sales fell by 3.5% in the second quarter and by 2.3% in the first half overall.
“Conditions for consumers are likely to remain challenging in the second half and we will therefore continue our focus on delivering outstanding value for our customers.
“In addition we will make the Greggs brand more accessible to new customers through our shop opening programme and further development of our wholesaling and franchising channels.”