Lockdown takes bite out of Greggs

UK bakery chain Greggs has warned the outlook for its business remains uncertain due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, despite reporting a better-than-expected quarterly trading update.

The business, known for its steak bakes, sausage rolls and recent range of vegan snacks, said activity had picked up in September, following a slower August, but it was not enough to stop its shares dipping around 3% on Tuesday (29 Sep). It’s share price has now fallen almost 50% from its pre-lockdown highs.

Greggs noted that like-for-like sales in the three months to 26 September averaged at 71.2% of the level in the same period last year, and said it had started consultations with staff and trade unions regarding reduced hours and potential job losses.

It noted that while the business had reopened seating in 100 of its larger shops it expects business to remain below normal for the foreseeable future, with rising coronavirus infection rates leading to potential further restrictions on customers and increasing risks of supply chain disruptions.