Food-on-the-go chain Greggs has reported sales growth of 7.2% in 2018, with pre-tax profits expected to reach at least £88m – slightly ahead of previous forecasts.
The group has 1,953 sites having seen 149 openings and 50 closures in the 52 weeks to 29 December 2018.
Chief executive Roger Whiteside said: “We delivered a very strong finish to 2018 despite the well-publicised challenges in the consumer sector. This performance was broad-based, reflecting the strength of our range of freshly prepared food and drinks, and the strategic changes that we have made in recent years to focus more effectively on the food-on-the-go market.
“In the year ahead, we will continue to innovate with products designed to reflect changing consumer tastes, and by opening in new locations that make Greggs even more accessible to customers. The investments that we are making in our supply chain will allow us to deliver the outstanding value and quality that Greggs is famous for across a growing shop estate.”
The group said that hot drinks and breakfasts were particular drivers of growth during the year.
In 2019 Greggs expects to see net openings of 90 to 100 sites.