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Gloucestershire Business News

Greggs on a roll as sales recover

National bakery chain Greggs said it had seen an "encouraging sales trend since shop reopening" as lockdown eases across the country.

The business did however report a £65.2m loss for the first half of 2020 after the forced closure of all of its 2,050 stores for most of the second quarter.

This £65.2m loss compares to a £36.7m profit over the same period last year.

Temporary store closures saw a 49 per cent sales dip on a like-for-like basis and turnover in the 26 weeks to June 27 down to £300.6m, compared with £546.3m across the same period in 2019.

However, Greggs remains optimistic for growth and adds that sales were now up to 72 per cent when compared to the same period in 2019, with the majority of its outlets now trading again.

An interim investors report explains that these recent sales levels have allowed Greggs to bring approximately 75 per cent of its workforce out of furlough.

It added: "We are unable to predict how long social distancing will be required but we remain confident of our potential for growth once this constraint is removed.

"Our strategy for growth is based on shop expansion, the roll out of new digital channels and day-part development. All of these remain relevant in a post-COVID world but we have adapted our plans in light of social distancing."

Roger Whiteside, chief executive at Greggs said: "Following successive years of unbroken growth Greggs made a great start to 2020, coming into the year with momentum and clear strategic plans. The strength of our business model enabled us to secure the liquidity needed to support our business through the current crisis and then to adapt our operation and strategic investment plans in response to the new environment.

"I want to thank the amazing team of people in our business who have risen to the challenges created by this crisis both in supporting the wider community and working together to redesign our operation to work safely under these new conditions.

"Greggs is now well prepared to deal with the challenges of social distancing and operate through the conditions we are faced with. Greggs remains a much-loved brand with long-term growth opportunities and the business is better placed to adapt to new conditions than ever before."

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