Newcastle upon Tyne / UK. (gs) British Greggs PLC is the leading bakery food-on-the-go retailer in the UK with almost 1’700 retail outlets throughout the country. This week the company announced its Interim Management Statement for the 26 weeks to 28 June 2014. Highlights: Total sales in H1/2014 up 3,1 percent. Own shop like-for-like sales in the first 26 weeks up 3,2 percent (2013: 2,9 percent decline). 131 refits are now completed. 26 new shops were opened, 36 closed. Property gains on disposal of 1,4 million GBP (2013: 0,2 million GBP). Good cost control.
Greggs has continued to trade well through the first half of the year. Our total sales for the 26 weeks to 28 June 2014 grew by 3,1 percent. Like-for-like sales in our own shops grew by 3,2 percent over the same period. Whilst our year-on-year performance has benefited from comparison with a period of weak trading in 2013, sales growth is also being driven by initiatives that have further improved our products, availability, service and value. During the first 26 weeks we completed 131 shop refurbishments, in line with our plan to refit around 200 shops during 2014. We also opened 26 new shops and closed 36 shops, giving a total of 1’661 shops trading at 28 June. We expect shop numbers for the year as a whole to be broadly flat. As previously reported we have disposed of a number of surplus freehold properties in the year to date realising property profits of 1,4 million GBP (2013: 0,2 million GBP). Given the encouraging trading performance in the first half of the year, along with good cost control and the benefit of property disposal profits, we expect to show operating profits of around 16 to 17 million GBP when we report our interim results on 30 July 2014 (2013: 11,5 million GBP).
Sales comparables strengthen in the second half although the risk of further input cost inflation appears to be reducing. Overall, we expect to deliver an improved financial result for the year and further progress against our strategic plan.