Greggs has reported a 13.5% rise in total sales in the year ending 28 December 2019, driven by strong demand across its traditional ranges and the “huge popularity” of its vegan sausage roll.
The bakery chain said like-for-like sales at its company-managed stores increased by 9.2% in 2019, up from 2.8% in the previous year.
Fourth quarter like for likes grew by 8.7%, up from 5.2% in the same period in 2018, the company said in its fourth quarter trading update on Wednesday.
Its full year pre-tax profits were expected to be “slightly higher” than previous expectations, it added.
Chief executive Roger Whiteside said Greggs had delivered a strong finish to “what has been an exceptional year”.
“The major investments we have made in recent years to make Greggs an attractive choice in the food-on-the-go market are delivering. Consumers are responding very positively and we have seen increasing visits from both new and existing customers,” he added.
“Looking to the year ahead, we face strong sales comparatives and cost inflation headwinds present a challenge. However, with strong momentum in the business we see further growth opportunities across a number of channels as we invest in new ways to make Greggs more accessible and convenient for customers.”
Greggs has launched a new Vegan Steak Bake and its first vegan doughnut for 2020.
During 2019 it opened 138 new stores – including 45 franchised units – and closed 41, growing the estate to 2,050 stores as of 28 December 2019. It expects to open around 100 net new stores this year.