Christmas proves a festive feast for bakers Greggs

BAKERY retailer Greggs has had a good Christmas with an increase in sales compared to last year.

The company, which has a bakery in Bramley and shops across West Yorkshire, also saw sales increase last year and opened 68 new outlets in 2010.

Staff have been praised for helping the firm to keep selling despite the poor weather.

Over the five weeks to January 8, Greggs saw total sales up by 3.5 per cent compared to last year, and like-for-like sales rose by 0.6 per cent.

In 2010 as a whole, the company saw total sales up by 2.2 per cent over 2009, with like-for-like sales up 0.2 per cent.

Highlights for the company were a 26 per cent increase in coffee sales over Christmas and a growth of 19 per cent for sweet mince pies. Eight million mince pies were sold from the beginning of November, as well as two million festive bakes.

Nineteen new shops were opened in December alone, taking the total to 93 for the whole of 2010 which leaves a net increase of 68 after 25 closures. The company has 1,487 shops nationally,

Ken McMeikan, chief executive, said: "I am very pleased with both our record Christmas week sales and our new shop opening programme, particularly considering how difficult the trading conditions on high streets were in the run-up to Christmas.

"I can't speak highly enough about our people both for the smooth handling of our expansion and for the remarkable dedication that they have shown in keeping our shops open and our supply chain functioning during the exceptionally bad weather during November and December.

"Despite the impact of the show, we anticipate reporting full year results in line with expectations when we make our preliminary results announcement on March 16.

"The consumer environment in the year ahead is likely to continue to be challenging but we remain well positioned to make further progress in 2011 and expect to open around 80 net new shops, creating more than 700 new jobs."

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