Big rise in profits for Greggs the baker

GREGGS ... showed a 48 per cent rise in pre-tax profits.
GREGGS ... showed a 48 per cent rise in pre-tax profits.

NORTH-East bakery giant Greggs says it is making good progress as interim results showed a 48 per cent rise in pre-tax profits.

Pre-tax profit reached £16.9m, compared to the £11.4m profit posted last year.

The company, which has 1,661 shops, attributes the good trading year to date to its strategic plan to become a leader in the food-on-the-go market, putting the company in direct competition with firms like of Pret á Manger and Costa Coffee.

The firm has also reported encouraging results from sales initiatives which include a new coffee blend and an improved sandwich range.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside, said: “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.

“Our new and improved coffee blend and sandwich range are great examples of this.

“Overall, we expect to deliver an improved financial result for the year and further progress against our strategic plan.

“As well as improvements to our product offer, we have continued to benefit from the changes we have made to service levels in our shops, including improved availability and extended trading hours.

“Our new customer loyalty scheme, Greggs Rewards, has been launched successfully, and we are now planning to build on this as we develop our capability to engage with customers and better meet their needs.”