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Greggs expects first loss since 1984

Greggs has said that it is expecting its first annual loss since 1984.

As the pandemic has hit sales, revenues and closed stores, the group has said that it is forecasting a £15m loss for 2020. This is compared to the £108.3m profits made in 2019.

Sales have plunged by £300m and for the 53 weeks to 2 January reported a 30% decline in sales compared to the previous year.

Greggs has cut 820 jobs amid the Coronavirus crisis.

Since the pandemic, the group has been working to offer a delivery service alongside Just Eat, however, delivery sales in the fourth quarter were just 5.5% of what is normally sold in-store. Greggs has also partnered with Iceland to offer goods to bake at home.

Greggs’ chief executive Roger Whiteside commented: “With customers spending more time at home we have successfully developed our partnership with Just Eat to offer delivery services and have also seen strong sales through our longstanding partnership with Iceland, offering our products for home baking.

“We have resumed opening new shops where we see good opportunities, with those sites accessed by car performing particularly well. In light of the recent Government announcements, significant uncertainties remain in the near-term.  

“We have taken action to position Greggs to withstand further short-term shocks and are optimistic about our prospects for growth once social restrictions are lifted.  I want to thank everyone who has supported Greggs through 2020,” he added.

Ross Hindle, an analyst at the research firm Third Bridge said that Greggs has “cooked up a good fourth-quarter trading performance driven by a local town store footprint, keeping stores open during the second lockdown, drive-through capabilities, plus a big push into delivery and collect.”

Greggs shares (LON: GRG) are trading 8.03% higher at 1,923.00. In the year-to-date, shares in the group have fallen from highs of 2,550.00.

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