street bakery Greggs yesterday warned that customers could be facing price rises as a result of the soaring cost of wheat.
The company said the price of its bread and other items would be put under review if the wheat price did not come down from its current level of £158 a tonne.
However, the group’s warning came alongside a rise in pre-tax profits for the first half of the year – up 12.3 per cent on a year earlier to £18.5m.
Chief executive Ken McMeikan said: “Our results are very good but of course there is concern over the wheat price. We may have to raise some prices in our range if it does not come down, but they will only be very small rises, maybe a penny on a sausage roll.”
The wheat price surge has been triggered by flooding in Pakistan and a drought in Russia.
McMeikan said the company’s expansion plans are gathering pace and that its London operation is operating particularly well.
“We are opening more shops and employing more people. We are offering meal deals which give our customers more choice and are very confident about the business,” he said, adding that the group’s new “concept” flagship stores are thriving.