Greggs soars as strategy shift boosts business

 
Oliver Smith
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HIGH street baker Greggs and FTSE 250 firm The Restaurant Group, owner of the Garfunkel’s and Frankie & Bennys chains, both saw their share prices boosted yesterday after reporting fourth quarter results that beat expectations.

Greggs share price rose 10.6 per cent to 493p on news that its fourth quarter saw the first sales growth for two years. Sales at stores open for more than a year grew 2.6 per cent and sales in the five week festive period were up 3.1 per cent.

Greggs’ new chief executive Roger Whiteside – who has issued two profit warnings while returning the business back to its core food-on-the-go business – said there was more to be done to cement Greggs’ turnaround and announced 410 jobs would be cut from both the company’s in-store bakeries and its management and support teams, to reduce costs.

The Restaurant Group reported a nine per cent rise in full-year turnover, as its value for money deals attracted more customers to its franchises, and said it is looking to open 36 to 43 new sites in 2014.

The Restaurant Group’s share price rose 5.71 per cent on the news to close at 629p yesterday.

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