Greggs Plc Strong full year performance

Greggs PLC

Greggs Plc (LON:GRG), today announced preliminary results for the 52 weeks ended 29 December 2018.

2018 Financial highlights

· Total sales up 7.2% to £1,029.3m (2017: £960.0m)

· Company-managed shop like-for-like sales* up 2.9% (2017: 3.7%)

· Operating profit excluding property profits** and exceptional items*** up 9.1% to £89.1m (2017: £81.7m)

· Pre-tax profit excluding exceptional items*** £89.8m (2017: £81.8m)

· Pre-tax profit £82.6m (2016: £71.9m)

· Strong cash generation supporting investment programme and shareholder returns

· Total ordinary dividend per share up 10.5% to 35.7p (2017: 32.3p)

· Currently expect to declare special dividend with interim results

* like-for-like sales in company-managed shops (excluding franchises) with a calendar year’s trading history

** freehold property disposal gains of £0.7m in 2018 (2017: £0.5m)

*** exceptional pre-tax charge of £7.2m in 2018 (2017: £9.9m charge)

Strategic progress

· Shop estate and product offer transformed over the last five years

· Further developments in growth categories such as healthier options, hot drinks, breakfast and hot food

· Brand reputation growing, driving reappraisal

· 149 new shops opened, 50 closures (99 net openings); 1,953 shops trading at 29 December 2018

· Good progress investing in consolidated manufacturing operations, building logistics capacity to support around 2,500 shops

Current trading

· Very strong start to the year

· Company-managed shop like-for-like sales up by 9.6% in the seven weeks to 16 February 2019

· Exceptional sales performance helped in part by publicity surrounding launch of the vegan-friendly sausage roll

“2018 was a year that tested the resilience of Greggs’ business model and demonstrated the benefits of our strategic investment programme. The first half was significantly impacted by extreme weather but once this returned to normal our underlying strengths helped us recover the lost ground and deliver results for the year that exceeded our expectations.

“Whilst there are significant uncertainties in the months ahead, Greggs has started 2019 in great form, helped in part by the publicity surrounding the launch of our vegan-friendly sausage roll. We hope to continue benefiting from this strong momentum during the first half of 2019 before facing stronger comparatives later in the year. We have a strong financial position which we plan to use to invest in Greggs’ potential for further growth, whilst also delivering good returns for shareholders.”

– Roger Whiteside OBE, Chief Executive

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