Greggs' 2019 profits to be higher than expected

Bakery firm Greggs sees rising sales | Tyne Tees

Bakery firm Greggs sees rising sales | Tyne Tees

Sales in the six weeks to 9 November were up 12.4 per cent, with like-for-like sales 8.3 per cent higher.

Like-for-like performance has held up well against strengthening prior year sales, it added, noting an 8.5% increase in total sales for the comparative period in 2018.

The firm, which has more than 2,000 outlets throughout the United Kingdom and has been opening more stores in out-of-town sites, said it now anticipates "2019 full-year profit before tax (excluding exceptional charges) to be higher than our previous expectations".

In the year-to-date, total sales have grown by 13.4% and like-for-like sales have increased 9.2%.

Despite that, Greggs' shares shot up by more than 17pc after it raised profit forecasts for the fourth time this year.

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Shares in Greggs (GRG.L) are soaring after it said profits would be higher than previously expected, fuelled by sales of vegan sausage rolls and other new initiatives.

This has lead the board to anticipate that pre-tax profits for the year will be above expectations.

It said earlier this year that "publicity surrounding its vegan-friendly sausage roll" had boosted sales, with media outlets sent tasters of the quorn products in iPhone-style boxes.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, commented: 'Today's update suggests food-on-the-go firm Greggs is more than a one-trick pony.

"As a effect, we are raising our earnings per share (diluted adjusted) forecasts by 4.2% to 85.6p for FY19E, by 5.3% to 93.5p for FY20E and by 5.2% to 103.1p for FY21E".

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