Mixed year for Greggs

High Street pastry and baked goods retailer Greggs served up a mixed bag of results, with an increase in full year sales and a dividend hike while profit and like-for-like sale slipped.

High Street pastry and baked goods retailer Greggs served up a mixed bag of results, with an increase in full year sales and a dividend hike while profit and like-for-like sale slipped.

The retailer said 2012 trading was very challenging as it battled against a mixture of continued consumer spending pressure and the wettest weather on record.

Nevertheless total sales rose 4.8% to £735m for the year ended December 29th after growth at its newly opened shops and the expansion of its new wholesale business. Around 100 net new shops were opened during the year.

Wholesale and franchise sales contributed 2.8% points to sales growth, it said.

Like-for-like sales were down 2.7% while pre-tax profit before exceptional items declined 2.2% to £51.9m. Diluted earnings per share rose 0.5% to 39.0p.

Greggs underlined its confidence in future trading with a 1.0% increase in its dividend to 19.5p.

Chief Executive Roger Whiteside said: "In 2012 consumer spending remained under pressure, shopper footfall declined, and the country experienced some of the wettest weather ever recorded."

On a brighter note he added: "Success in our new business channels coupled with new shop openings saw total sales growing again this year despite challenging market conditions."

Greggs said it has reshaped its plans for 2013 to focus on its core estate by increasing investment in its new formats in 'food on the go' and 'local bakery'.

"At the same time we will continue to develop sales through new shop openings, and make further progress in new markets through our wholesale and franchise agreements," it said.

CJ

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