Greggs reports strong start to 2019

Greggs has reported total sales for the seven weeks to 16 February 2019 are up by 14.1%, which is says is an "exceptionally strong" start to the year.

Company-managed shop like-for-like sales were also up at 9.6% in the same period; the strong sales performance has been boosted by the publicity surrounding the launch of Greggs' vegan sausage roll

As a result, customer transaction numbers have increased, with additional sales mainly comprising savoury products, such as the vegan-friendly sausage roll, and other popular sausage rolls and bakes.

The rate of growth has eased slightly in February but the strength of trading is likely to have a material impact on the first half result for 2019, particularly as comparative sales growth for 2018 was weak due to the extreme weather.

Sales comparatives then strengthen in the second half of the year.

Overall, the board now anticipates that 2019 full year underlying profit before tax (excluding exceptional charges) is likely to be ahead of its previous expectations.

Further information will be available at the publication of the company’s 2018 preliminary results on 7 March 2019.