Bakery chain Greggs has announced a 48% increase in pre-tax profit year-on-year in its H1 2014 results, as its turnaround plan begins to reap dividends.
The company reported pre-tax profits of £16.9m, up from £11.4m in the same period last year, as well as a 3.1% increase in total sales to £373m (2013: £362m).
Improved weather conditions and a move towards a healthier range of products seem to have boosted the chain’s financial performance. A focus on providing improved coffee products and more seating within its stores has also made a positive impact.
However, the company has insisted its figures have been “flattered” by weaker results in 2013.
Greggs 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.
“Although sales comparables strengthen in the second half the risk of input cost inflation appears to be reducing. Overall, we expect to deliver an improved financial result for the year and further progress against our strategic plan.”
The chain operates 1,661 outlets across the UK (as of 28 June), having opened 26 new locations and closed 26 during the first six months of 2014. Part of Gregg’s turnaround plan is the refurbishment of its stores, with 131 so far completed.