Greggs isn’t exactly synonymous with healthy eating in the minds of most consumers, but the baker’s efforts to refresh its range with wholesome food that’s health-wise better, helped operating profits at the company rise by nearly 7pc to £27.2m in the first half of the year.
A like-for-like sale, which excludes store openings and closures, were up 3.8pc, as Greggs reaped the benefits of not only revamping its range, but focusing on the fast-growing food-to-go market, refurbishing its stores and improving its breakfast and coffee offerings.
The company announced an interim dividend of 9.5p, up from 7.4p a year ago.
According to chief executive Roger Whiteside, “In the first half of 2016 we delivered good like-for-like growth by reinforcing the freshness and value of our offer in line with changing trends in the food-on-the-go market. We added to our ‘balanced Choice’ range with sales growing strongly as more and more of our customers recognise the quality, range and value we offer in these healthier food choices.
“We have made an encouraging start to the second half of the year and are alert to any change in consumer demand that may result from the current economic uncertainty. Overall, we expect to deliver full-year growth in line with our previous expectations as well as further progress against our strategic plan.”