Greggs tipped to feel chill on profits


By Andrea McCallum

SCOTLAND’S favourite bakery is tipped to be down on its dough thanks to the dire weather during the cold snap.

Icy pavements and snowy roads are thought to have affected sales at Greggs – as customers were afraid to venture out for their pastry goods.

The bakery – which has 180 stores in Scotland – is due to report its performance over the festive period on Wednesday.

And the market thinks that the baked goods empire will have suffered from the frosty conditions.

Darren Shirley, retail analyst at broker Shore Capital, said: “If we had just seen crisp, fresh days that would have helped the company’s warm products.

“But Greggs is strong in Scotland and that has had quite strong snow since mid-December. That could have had a very adverse impact on footfall.

“I suspect that is far more likely to outweigh the positive of cold weather for the company’s hot offering.”

Although the stores normally thrive on cold days – thanks to its hot sausage rolls, pies and pasties – the severe temperatures and snow may have stopped customers in their tracks.

Matthew Wells, an analyst at Brewin Dolphin, said: “Greggs normally does well in cold weather, what with its soup, pasties and the like. It can be a prime time for sales.

“But it may well be the other way round this time with less footfall near the shops because of the ice.”

Despite the gloomy outlook analysts think Greggs with prosper in 2010.

Shore Capital is forecasting a pre-tax profit of £46.4m – up from £45.1 last year.


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