Greggs chief set to reveal flaky half-year profit

 
Kasmira Jefford
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ROGER Whiteside is set to unveil his strategy for turning around the bakery chain’s recent soggy sales performance when he presents his first half-year results as chief executive this week.

So far the former Punch Taverns boss, who was also a longstanding non-executive at Greggs before taking over the reins in February, has insisted that his aim is to “evolve” rather than change the strategy he inherited from his predecessor Ken McMeikan.

In April the Leeds-based chain issued a surprise profit warning, blaming the cold weather and shoppers cutting back on high street spending for a worse-than-expected fall in sales.

Analysts at Oriel are predicting that Greggs will report a fall in pre-tax profits of as much as 25 per cent to £12.4m for the first six months of the year compared with a year earlier.

However the last nine weeks are expected to have shown an improvement after the bad weather and tough trading conditions at the start of the year hurt sales.

Whiteside, who also used to run M&S food division, is expected to provide more details on its store opening programme, as it moves to areas less impacted by lower shopper footfall such as travel destinations.

The City will also be looking for details on plans for growing its wholesaling business on the back of its success supplying frozen pastry products to Iceland supermarkets.