Greggs unveils extra profit … and it wasn’t the vegan sausage roll

Bumper sales of festive cakes, hot drinks and breakfasts boost high street bakery chain

Greggs has raised its profit guidance for the second time in two months, bucking the trend among high street retailers, and said its new vegan sausage roll was an early hit with customers in 2019.

Britain’s biggest bakery chain said it enjoyed a strong finish to 2018, thanks to bumper sales of its festive bake and mince pies, as well as hot drinks and breakfast range.

The company is now expecting pretax profits of at least £88m for 2018, having already upgraded its guidance in November when it said profits would be at least £86m. Greggs made a pretax profit of £81.8m in 2017.

Greggs has prided itself on adapting products to suit changing consumer tastes, and said its latest creation, the £1 vegan sausage roll, was proving popular with “a broad range of customers”.

The vegan sausage roll hit Greggs’ shelves last week, coinciding with the beginning of Veganuary, a growing movement that encourages people to embrace plant-based diets during January. It is on sale in 950 of Greggs’s 1,950 UK shops.

Greggs has increased sales and profits despite a tough backdrop for high street retailers struggling with rising business costs, a switch to online spending and faltering consumer confidence as Brexit looms.

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