Cost pressures may lead to further price rises at Greggs

Greggs has seen improved performance over the past year, but warned of price rises ahead as future costs remain “uncertain”.

In its preliminary results for 2021 the bakery chain reported pre-tax profit of £145.6m, compared to a £13.7m loss in 2020 when many of its shops were closed for much of the year due to the pandemic. In 2019 the business made a profit of £108.3m.

While total sales were 5.3% higher on 2019 at £1.2bn, like-for-like sales (which exclude revenue from new shops) were down 3.3% from pre-Covid levels.

With food, energy and staffing costs on the increase, the company’s costs are anticipated to rise by 6-7% in the coming year.

Greggs has already increased some prices this year, but expects “further changes” to be necessary.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside, quoted by BBC News, said that while the company had no plans for immediate price rises, “obviously that’s going to have to remain under review given the way the markets are moving around the world on commodity food prices in particular”.

The company “will work to mitigate the impact of this on customers,” Whiteside said, but “given this dynamic we do not currently expect material profit progression in the year ahead”.