The Greggs bakery chain suffered its first annual loss since going public 36 years ago – with the coronavirus pandemic blamed for hitting another pillar on the streets.
Bosses of the Newcastle-based company – famous for pies and sausages – reported a pre-tax loss of £ 13.7million in 2020, with sales dropping from £ 1.17bn the year before to 811 , £ 3million.
And the first 10 weeks of 2021 were just as tough, the company confirmed.
Although its 2,078 outlets are considered essential and have been allowed to remain open during the current lockdown, the custom has been devastated by the reduction in footfall in city centers and travel centers: perimeter sales constant are down 28.8% over the same week period last year.
The bosses had previously said they didn’t expect to return to profits until 2022, but they remain confident about the future – with a commitment to open 100 new stores this year.
They say the 2020 results are slightly better than expected, and say the company has benefited from the vacation and vacation rate business program.
A new delivery service, meanwhile, made up for some losses, with sales accounting for 9.6% of trade so far in 2021.
Greggs, which was founded over 80 years ago in Newcastle, was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1984 and had never reported a loss since going public.