High street baker Greggs hits record profits of £55.5m but still decides to cling on to business rates relief
- The high street baker posted a profit of £55.5 million in the six months to July 31
- It compares to a £65.2 million loss last year, and a £36.7 million profit in 2019
- The impressive performance has led to calls for Greggs to repay £13m of business rates relief received this year, and £19m from 2020
Greggs hit record profits in the first half of the year but has still decided to cling on to business rates relief.
The high street baker posted a profit of £55.5 million in the six months to July 31, compared to a £65.2 million loss last year, and a £36.7 million profit in 2019.
It marks a rapid turnaround from predictions in January that profits would not return to pre-Covid levels ‘until 2022 at the earliest’.
Greggs hit record profits in the first half of the year but has still decided to cling on to business rates relief
The impressive performance has led to calls for Greggs to repay £13 million of business rates relief received this year, and £19 million from 2020.
Several high street sellers including Tesco, B&Q and B&M, whose businesses were also allowed to stay open during lockdown, have repaid the Government support.
Chief executive Roger Whiteside said: ‘Rates and VAT relief – it’s not money that’s been given to us, it’s a general temporary relief. Unless everyone is giving it back, why would we?’
Bosses said the jump in groups ordering sausage rolls and sharing pizza boxes through its Just Eat partnership made up for a 9.2 per cent like-for-like fall in store sales.
The rapidly growing delivery business, now operating from 837 of its 2,115 shops, helped it post group sales of £546.2 million, just £100,000 less than in 2019.
The bounceback enabled bosses to raise guidance yesterday though shares dipped 2.9 per cent, or 80p, to 2724p. But the stock has more than doubled in the last 12 months.
The board recommended a 15p dividend, worth £15.3 million, the first since October 2019. The reopening of the country’s high streets has given the chain a further boost, pushing shop sales between April 12 and this week higher than they were in 2019.
It came as Domino’s reported a 19.6 per cent jump in takeaway sales to £752.3 million in the six months to the end of June, thanks to jumps in demand from ‘freedom day’ and the Euro 2020 football championships. Underlying profits rose 27.7 per cent to £60.8 million.