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UPDATE 1-Britain's Greggs to cut jobs as outlook uncertain

Tue, 29th Sep 2020 07:41

(Adds detail)

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - British baker Greggs
said on Tuesday its sales had improved in September after a slow
August but cautioned that the outlook was uncertain because of
COVID-19 and it would have to cut staff jobs and hours.

Greggs, best known for its sausage rolls and vegan snacks,
said it had launched a consultation with union and employee
representatives.

"Our aim is to minimise the risk of job losses by
negotiating reduced hours in our shops," it said.

Greggs said that since fully reopening on July 2
like-for-like sales in company-managed shops averaged 71.2% of
their 2019 level in the 12 weeks to Sept. 26.

It said in the most recent four weeks of that period
like-for-like sales averaged 76.1% of their 2019 level.

"The outlook for trading remains uncertain, with rising
COVID-19 infection rates leading to increasing risks of supply
chain interruption and further restrictions on customer
activities out of the home," it warned.

Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the British
people to work from home where possible and ordered restaurants
and bars to close early to tackle a spike in the pandemic, with
new restrictions likely to last six months.

The government has said it is also mulling tougher
restrictions.

Greggs was performing well before the pandemic hit and its
shares hit a record high of 2,550 pence in January. But they
closed Monday at 1,219 pence, down 47% year to date.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young and Jason
Neely)

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