Greggs will consider international expansion in the next five years to continue the strong growth it has achieved in the UK, the bakery chain said today as it reported record results for last year.
Chief executive Roger Whiteside said the company had not started looking at options but it has acknowledged that global expansion may be necessary beyond 2025.
The high street bakery launched in Belgium in 2003 under an “Engelse bakker” brand, but ended the international experiment after five years. Whiteside said today that its diversification into a cafe chain could benefit its next global push.
Whiteside, who indicated that the 2025 plan is likely to happen under different leadership, said another option is to expand within the UK under a different brand.
“Beyond 2025 we will need to look beyond the UK for growth and beyond Greggs for growth… we acknowledge the logic of the fact that at some point the brand may need to look at other markets to find growth.”
Greggs, which has 2,000 stores in the UK, is still ramping up expansion in the country as it improves its coffee range to compete directly with cafe chains, and opens new sites at transport hubs, petrol stations and service stations.
The company also recently announced a delivery partnership with Just Eat, which Whiteside said is performing well, and will trial opening Greggs stores within Asda supermarkets.
The bakery chain today reported record results for the 52 weeks to 28 December, as profit soared 31 per cent to £108.3m and total sales hit £1.16bn – an increase of 13.5 per cent – with like-for-like sales in company managed shops up 9.2 per cent.
The company said January sales were strong, but warned that storms in February had led to a “significant slowdown”, particularly in Wales.
As a result of the storms there are no Greggs vegan doughnuts available in the UK as the manufacturing centre near Cardiff where they are produced was destroyed by floodwater.
The cafe chain also warned that coronavirus could have a negative impact on the business due to a potential slump in consumer demand.