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Chronicle Live
Tom Keighley

Greggs warns on price increases despite posting record revenues

Outgoing Greggs boss Roger Whiteside has revealed record results and the return of a profit share scheme for its staff.

Mr Whiteside, who will step down as chief executive of the Newcastle bakery chain in a few months’ time, said the pandemic meant the retail sector had “never experienced such high levels of prolonged disruption to operations”.

But in interim results released to the Stock Exchange, Greggs revealed record sales of more than £1.2bn and the return of a £16.6m bonus pot for employees.

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Pre-tax profit for the year was £145.6m - a return from Greggs’ only loss recorded in 2020 of £13.7m and up on 2019’s £108.3m profit.

Greggs has warned that the price of its products is likely to go up for the second time this year, however, as it faces runaway increases in costs.

The fast food chain said it had already increased some prices at the start of the year, and that further changes are expected.

The cost of doing business is expected to rise between 6% and 7% for the company this year due to higher staffing and ingredient costs.

It said it will try to protect its reputation for being “outstanding value for money”.

Mr Whiteside also said he was confident his successor Roisin Currie will protect the company’s unique values as she steps up to the top job.

Mrs Currie will take over from Mr Whiteside in May as the company said it had emerged stronger and better from the pandemic.

Mr Whiteside said: “As I approach retirement, this will be my final year as chief executive of Greggs and it has been my privilege to have led this business for the past eight years, setting us on a new course to become the customers’ favourite for food-on-the-go.

“In that time, I have tried my best to change the things that needed changing but more importantly to protect and nurture those things that shouldn’t change - most importantly, the culture: the ‘what makes Greggs, Greggs’.

“Every business needs to constantly evolve to stay relevant for its customers and for that it needs the right strategic plan, but that is only part of the story.

“The main risk in leading a growing business is that change is poorly managed, resulting in the organisation undermining its culture and values that have taken decades to develop, earning the trust of colleagues and customers alike.

“That is why I am delighted that Roisin Currie has been appointed as my successor, because in working alongside her for many years, I know that she embodies our values and will continue to protect them as she leads the business to meet the exciting growth opportunities that lie ahead.”

Greggs also said it planned to extend the opening hours of more than 500 of its shops into the evening, making its hot food menu available at the same time.

And 2022 will see trials of new pizza toppings as well as more choice on the “made-to-order” menu.

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