Healthier offerings keep baker Greggs' sales growing

Healthy options now account for 10 per cent of all Greggs' sales.
Healthy options now account for 10 per cent of all Greggs' sales.

Sausage roll maker Greggs reported rising sales and profits last year after being boosted by its healthy eating ranges, but has warned over costs pressures in 2017.

Greggs said like-for-like sales rose 4.2% in the year to December 31, with total sales growing 7% to £894.2million.

Pre-tax profit nudged up from £73million to £75.1million.

The Tyneside-based company, best known for its sausage rolls, doughnuts and pasties, said sales of healthier food, such as salads and yoghurts, topped £100million and now make up 10% of all revenue.

In January the FTSE 250 company said its Balanced Choice menu continues to prove popular, and it will soon be extending its hot drinks range to include vanilla latte alongside Fairtrade peppermint tea and green tea.

But chief executive Roger Whiteside said: "The UK consumer outlook is more challenging than we have seen in recent years, with industry-wide pressures emerging in commodities as well as labour costs."

The firm added, in the short term, it faces a period of "greater economic uncertainty and increased pressure from cost inflation".

Sterling's collapse since the EU referendum has seen import costs for British businesses rocket.

However, Mr Whiteside said Greggs is "confident of making further progress as we implement our plan to grow Greggs as a contemporary food-on-the-go brand".