Low calorie sandwiches and better coffee boosts Greggs annual profit expectations

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Pasty and sausage roll maker Greggs said its profits will beat expectations after customers warmed to its new products and refurbished shops.

The group, which has 
1,660 outlets, reported a 
5.4 per cent jump in like-for-like sales for the 11 weeks to last Saturday as it benefited from demand for its new low-fat sandwich range and improved coffee blend.

The company said the improved sales meant that profits for this year will be materially ahead of its previous hopes.

Brokers at N+1 Singer raised their profit forecast for Greggs by 10.5 per cent to £54.5m, representing a 35 per cent cumulative increase since January.

The improvement follows a drive by chief executive Roger Whiteside to increase focus on the food-on-the-go market, which accounts for 75 per cent of customer visits, rather than traditional take-home business.

The company has previously admitted it underperformed the food-on-the-go sector as convenience stores, coffee shops and fast food operators better met customer demands, particularly in traditional shopping centre locations.

Mr Whiteside said: “This strong performance reflects a positive response from customers to new product initiatives, improved service, better value and our investment in shop refurbishments alongside more favourable trading conditions.”

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