Greggs’ announces sales of £1.2bn along with new CEO

Britain’s biggest bakery chain Greggs has announced sales hit £1.2bn in 2021 and unveiled company veteran Roisin Currie as their new Chief Executive.

Greggs said sales were a 5.3% increase on 2019, although this is down 3.3% on a like-for-like basis, excluding new store openings over the period.

They also announced that Currie, who has been at the company for 12 years and is the current Retail and Property Director, would take over from the Chief Executive, Roger Whiteside, in May.

Whiteside, who has run Greggs for nine years, is set to continue working at the company to “support the transition process” until his notice period expires on the 5th of January next year.

Rosin Currie joined Greggs in 2010 and is responsible for the chain’s 2,200 stores across the UK.

Industry Reaction

Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented: “Greggs has been on a phenomenal journey in the last few years, with sales and the share price soaring. The market is disappointed by the departure of Roger Whiteside, who oversaw this remarkable performance. As we bid goodbye to the man that oversaw the triumph of the vegan sausage roll, eyes must look to the new times rolling in.

“Successor, Roisin Currie, was instrumental in getting Greggs’ delivery service to where it is. Growing this area will be an important pillar going forwards, as will efforts to have later opening hours at some sites, plus a net 150 new shops a year. This will support the group’s punchy target to double revenue in the coming years.

“Currie is being handed a business where sales are up 5.3% compared to pre-pandemic times, despite the reduced commuter footfall on the UK’s high streets. That’s not something many businesses can say, but with a great deal of excitement baked into the stock’s valuation, the pressure’s on.”

Chris Daly, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, said: “Following a strong end of year performance, Greggs’ investors will be relieved to see its rise in profits continue, despite the threat of renewed lockdown restrictions and continued supply chain shortages.

“As ‘Veganuary’ begins – a movement that is growing in popularity – the company is set to capitalise on a potential surge in sales from its vegan sausage roll and festive bake.

“These products and a new sustainability strategy, the Greggs Pledge, have successfully enabled the cult bakery to reach a wider audience and meet the growing needs of consumers wanting to engage with more ethical brands. In fact, our research found that 63 percent of consumers want to see more from brands when it comes to sustainability, so the baker’s approach should strike a chord with existing and potential new customers.

“Having recently announced a commitment to spend more on marketing to promote innovative new products and adapt its operations to address changing consumer habits, Greggs stands in good stead to thrive in the new year, which should encourage both its stakeholders and investors alike.”