British bakery chain Greggs has reported its first loss in 36 years.
The nation’s favourite breakfast and lunchtime haunt hasn’t had anywhere near the same level of footfall in its stores over the past year, due to the current pandemic and further restrictions. While delivery has been introduced, it hasn’t been enough to recoup the usual flow of everyday cash.
Today, the company announced a pre-tax loss of £13.7 million – its first loss since 1985. However, it’s also warned the next 12 months could be the toughest yet.
The whopping loss in 2020 stands in stark comparison to more than £108 million in profit the year prior. While sales earlier cruised at £1.17 billion, they dropped to £811.3 million last year as branches were forced to close for significant periods of calendar, as per the Mirror Online.
While opening 84 new branches last year, the company was also forced to shutter 54 outlets. Even amid concerns over the coming 12 months, Greggs has pledged to 100 further new stores this year in a bid to build the earnings back up.
The introduction of Greggs on the likes of Just Eat and other delivery services did ease some of the losses. In the first 10 weeks of this year, nearly 10% of all sales have come from deliveries. However, like-for-like sales have plummeted by more than 28% in the same period.
Roger Whiteside, chief executive of Greggs, said, ‘It has shown the resilience of our business model, but most of all the strength of our people who have worked hard throughout to maintain an essential service providing takeaway food to customers unable to work from home, many of whom were themselves key workers.’
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