Greggs stockpiles pork for sausage rolls ahead of Brexit

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High Street bakery chain Greggs is stockpiling pork so that production of its sausage rolls is guaranteed in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

“We are preparing for the potential impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union by building stocks of key ingredients,” the firm said.

Around 20% of a Greggs sausage roll is made from pork.

It has previously said a no-deal Brexit may mean it has to find alternatives for fresh tomatoes and lettuce.

The bakery chain detailed its planning for the UK’s departure from the EU with a trading update showing that total sales had risen 12.4% in the past 13 weeks.

The Newcastle-based firm hailed “very strong” trading in the third quarter, but also warned that Brexit could put pressure on food and labour costs.

As well as stockpiling key ingredients the firm has also been acquiring some light equipment, “that could be affected by disruption to the flow of goods into the UK”.

New stores

However, shares fell by 10% after it also said it expected fewer shop openings by the end of the year than it had previously forecast.

Greggs now expects to have 90 net openings – taking closures into account – by the end of the year, down from a previous forecast of 100 net openings.

Other main points in its trading update include:

  • Like-for-like sales, which exclude new store openings, up 7.4% in the quarter to 28 September, a slowdown from the first half of the year
  • Like-for-like sales for the year to date up 9.4%, helped by a new autumn menu and offers
  • Total sales up by 13.9% this year so far
  • 90 new store openings during 2019 so far, while 34 sites have closed

The chain said it was continuing to trial evening openings, with deals for pizza and hot food available in some stores after 4pm.