Greggs shares surge as it dishes up profit cheer on vegan sausage roll success

Surging demand for new vegan sausage rolls has helped bakery chain Greggs up its full-year profit outlook thanks to “exceptional” sales growth.

The firm said sales are now set to beat forecasts for 2019
The firm said sales are now set to beat forecasts for 2019

Shares in the group rocketed 12% higher after the profit cheer, which came as it reported an 11.1% jump in like-for-like sales over the 19 weeks to May 11 after it launched its vegan sausage rolls across all its stores.

It made the move after it saw demand outstrip supply earlier in the year when the savoury rolls were only available in some shops initially.

The group, which has nearly 2,000 shops across the UK, said sales are now set to beat forecasts for 2019 despite strong trading from a year earlier, with underlying profits expected to be “materially” higher than predicted.

In a trading update, Greggs said: “The exceptional level of like-for-like sales growth that began in January has been sustained in the months that have followed, driven by increased visits to our stores.

“Looking forward, the sales comparatives from 2018 become progressively stronger but we now anticipate materially higher sales for the 2019 year as a whole than we had previously been expecting.”

Greggs said it had launched another vegan product as part of its new summer menu - a new and improved Mexican Bean & Sweet Potato wrap - as it continues to tap into the growing food trend.

The new menu also features pasta salads, fruit and cold drinks, it added.

Greggs has continued to expand across the UK as it brushes off tough high street trading conditions impacting other retailers.

It opened another 38 shops in the first 19 weeks of its financial year, although 22 were shut, which helped total sales rise 15.1% against 4.7% a year earlier.