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Thu 27th Apr 2017 - Pret A Manger reports like-for-likes up 4.8% as revenue and Ebitda grows
Pret A Manger reports like-for-likes up 4.8% as revenue and Ebitda grows: Pret A Manger has reported sales increased 15% to £776.2m for the year ending 29 December 2016. Like-for-like sales were up 4.8% while Ebitda rose 11% to £93.2m. US sales exceeded $200m for the first time. A total of 50 shops opened in the period and 839 full-time jobs were created worldwide. More than three million food items were donated to charities. Chief executive Clive Schlee said: “This is another year of record results for Pret and our 12th consecutive year of revenue and Ebitda growth. Pret’s simple recipe of freshly made food and fast, friendly service allows us to flourish in diverse locations around the world – from Penn Station in New York to the campus of Exeter University and Dubai International Airport.”
 
Veggie Pret
During the period, the first Veggie Pret shop opened – the company said 52% of Veggie Pret customers were meat-eaters looking to cut down. The company stated: “Pret continues to innovate at a rapid pace, adapting its menu to evolving customer tastes in each of its markets. During 2016, Pret opened its first vegetarian-only pop-up in London’s Soho, with 45 new meat-free recipes on its menu. In response to thousands of positive customer reviews and sales far exceeding expectation, Veggie Pret was made permanent. The best-sellers from Veggie Pret have launched in Pret shops across the UK and internationally, and a second Veggie Pret opened earlier this month in Shoreditch, London. Pret US has also seen increased customer interest in meat-free products and launched a new vegetarian range and ‘Not Just For Veggies’ campaign this week.”
 
Popular products
Coconut was the most popular new ingredient – dairy-free coconut milk sales now exceed soya and dairy-free Coconut Porridge accounts for one in five porridge sales in the UK. Pret’s most popular product worldwide is the croissant – it is the best-seller in the UK, US, France and China, with more than 16 million enjoyed in 2016. The company stated: “Pret introduced a number of dairy-free products in 2016, including a new soup range that is entirely dairy-free, gluten-free, and under 250 calories. The new offering increased UK soup sales by 16% like-for-like. A continued focus on hot food innovation saw the launch of breakfast brioches, power pots made with soft poached eggs, and a dairy-free coconut porridge.”
 
Sales pattern
It said 59% of sales now fall outside of lunchtime, as eating habits shift to healthy snacking and more meals being eaten out of the home while 18% of sales came from products launched in the last year. In 2016, 16% of all sales came from airport and train station shops and Pret’s Heathrow Terminal 5 location generates the highest shop sales worldwide for the company.
 
International growth 
Today, Pret’s international operations span six countries. Pret opened 50 shops during 2016, including 31 in the UK, nine in the US, five in France, three in Hong Kong, one in Shanghai, China, and a first in Dubai. Net shop openings represented growth of over 11%, with net UK shop growth of 9% and net shop growth of 20% across all other markets. The total number of shops at the end of 2016 was 444. Pret’s US sales increased by 14% to become a $200m business, with strong growth from breakfast, driven by an increase in coffee sales and menu innovation, including hot brioche sandwiches and additions to the Pret Pot range. Transport hubs offer an attractive growth opportunity for Pret shops globally as travellers increasingly seek fresh, healthy food and fast, friendly service. New shops were opened in key locations, including a second shop in Penn Station in New York, a first in Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and one in Dubai International Airport.
 
Job creation
Pret created 839 full-time jobs in 2016 and continued to focus on providing “excellent training and rewarding careers”. More than 40% of those recruited as team members get promoted, and 80% of all Pret’s general managers started as team members. Now in its sixth year, Pret’s UK School Leavers Programme increased its intake of full-time recruits by 28% in 2016. Pret’s Big Experience Week will launch this summer to offer 500 week-long paid work experience placements to UK school students.
 
Helping the homeless
The Pret Foundation Trust raised a record £1.8m in 2016 to help to break the cycle of homelessness. Pret’s Christmas Lunch carried a donation of 50p per sandwich and a video showing Rising Stars who have overcome homelessness through working at Pret was watched 1.3 million times on Facebook. Donations also supported unsold food going to charities every night in each of Pret’s key markets. Meanwhile, 1.7 million free coffees were given away by Pret employees as “random acts of kindness”.
 
Outlook
Schlee said: “We look forward to opening our 500th Pret shop in the next 12 months and furthering our measured expansion in both existing and new markets. We will of course continue to focus on the essentials – menu innovation and the quality of our ingredients, opening new shops in top-class locations around the world and, above all, recruiting and engaging our wonderful teams.”

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