Greggs has revealed it could make a fresh bid to launch overseas, 15 years after it abandoned a foray into Belgium to concentrate on the UK market.
The company’s chief executive said that any expansion abroad would start with a number of small trials.
Roisin Currie was speaking after the company – best-known for its sausage rolls, steak bakes, vegan snacks and sweet treats – reported a 14.2% rise in like-for-like sales at its managed shops during the 13 weeks to 30 September.
Total sales were almost 21% higher, also compared to the same period a year earlier.
Greggs credited high demand for value products given continuing cost of living pressures facing customers.
It also confirmed there were no plans for further price increases this side of Christmas as its cost base continues to calm.
Ms Currie told the Reuters news agency that the possibility of taking Greggs abroad again was “a live project”.
“We have a small team of three that are currently working on that,” she said.
Image: Roisin Currie says any expansion abroad will only happen if the right opportunities arise. File pic “We are doing research around markets, the customer proposition, the demographics, where we think Greggs would work.
“When we start to gain confidence in a market that we think is right for us then we will update on that.”
She would not be drawn on which countries Greggs might enter.
Greggs quit a loss-making, 10 shop business in Belgium in 2008.
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Ms Currie, Reuters reported, said there was no rush to take Greggs overseas again because it still had lots of growth to go for in the UK.
It currently trades from 2,410 stores and is targeting “significantly more” than 3,000.
Greggs opened a net 82 stores in the last quarter.
Despite the leap in sales, Greggs maintained its guidance for sales and profits for its financial year as a whole.