North East baker Greggs saw sales jump by more than five per cent last year.
The firm has released figures this morning showing total sales for the year to January 2 were up 5.2% against the comparable 52 weeks in 2014, with early morning business rising particularly fast.
Chief Executive Roger Whiteside said: “2015 saw us deliver another excellent year of progress as we continue to transform Greggs into a modern, well-invested food-on-the-go retailer.
“We anticipate that we will report full year results for 2015 in line with our previous expectations. In the year ahead we will continue with the implementation of our
strategic plan to enable the business to compete more effectively in the food-on-the-go market.”
"For our 2015 financial year as a whole (52 weeks ended 2 January 2016) total sales grew by 5.2 per cent on a comparable 52 week basis and company-managed shop like-for-like sales grew by 4.7 per cent.
"As we expected, like-for-like sales growth slowed to 2.3 per cent in the fourth quarter as we came up against stronger comparatives and the impact of weaker footfall in some shopping locations. Sales over the Christmas period were in line with the overall trend for the fourth quarter.
"Sales growth has been particularly strong in sandwiches and drinks, including our healthier options ‘Balanced Choice’ range including new salads and ‘no added sugar’
drinks. Our new hot food menu, with an improved hot sandwich range and fresh soups, is also selling well as customers become increasingly aware of our new food-on-the-go options.
"Customer demand for breakfast-on-the-go continues to make this our fastest growing part of the day with sales of coffee continuing to grow strongly. We plan to add ‘flat white’ and an improved ‘mocha’ to our coffee menu early in the New Year.
"Since our last update, trading has been broadly consistent with our plans and we anticipate we will report full year results in line with our previous expectations
when we make our preliminary announcement on 1 March 2016.
"In the year ahead we will continue with the implementation of our strategic plan to transform the business so that it can be ever more competitive in the food-on-the-go market, whilst also driving efficiencies and adding capacity for further sustainable growth."