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Festive trading will help Greggs meet forecasts

Greggs saw its sales up by 3.2 per cent in the past few weeks. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Greggs saw its sales up by 3.2 per cent in the past few weeks. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

  • by PERRY GOURLEY
 

BAKERY chain Greggs is axing more than 100 management and back office jobs to cut costs despite reporting a strong Christmas today.

The group said its annual results, due next month, should be in line with expectations following a 3.1 per cent rise in like-for-like sales for the five weeks to 5 January.

However, sales for the full year are expected to be down 0.8 per cent after the summer heatwave dented demand for its pasties and sausage rolls.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside said the 110 job cuts were needed as the group faced a year of significant change as restructures to compete more effectively in the food-on-the-go market.

“The costs of this are likely to constrain profit growth over the next two years, however we are confident that we are building a platform for sustainable long-term profitable growth,” he said.

Fashion retailer Ted Baker said it had enjoyed a surge in festive sales after holding its nerve and avoiding heavy price cuts. Retail sales soared 18.3 per cent in the eight weeks to 4 January. Founder Ray Kelvin said sales since Christmas have been “particularly strong” and full-year profits, due to be published in March, would be in line with expectations.

He added: “The group has delivered a strong result over the Christmas period in a competitive trading environment, reflecting the strength of the brand and quality and design of our product. We continue to invest in newer markets for the long-term development of Ted Baker as a global lifestyle brand.”

Kelvin said sales since Christmas have been “particularly strong” and full-year profits, due to be published in March, would be in line with expectations.

Shares in Greggs closed up 47.5p, or 10.6 per cent, at 493p and in Ted Baker they closed down 70p, or 3.04 per cent, at 2,230p.

 

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