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Tue 4th Sep 2018 - Pret A Manger reports like-for-likes up 3.2% as revenue grows 13.2%
Pret A Manger reports like-for-likes up 3.2% as revenue grows 13.2%: Pret A Manger, bought by JAB Holdings earlier this year for £1.5bn, has reported sales increased 13.2% to £878.5m for the year ending 28 December 2017, compared with £776.1m the year before. Like-for-like sales were up 3.2%. A total of 58 shops opened in the period and more than 1,150 full-time jobs were created worldwide. More than 3.4 million food items were donated to charities. Pret opened its 500th shop worldwide in 2017, including a first outlet in Singapore – it had 502 sites in total at the year end. A further two Veggie Pret shops opened in London, while its first Veggie Pret outside the capital will open this year. More than half of the range of sandwiches and salads in regular Pret shops were vegetarian or vegan. Turmeric was the most popular new ingredient, featuring in five new products including salads, juices and hot drinks. Teams around the world continued to surprise customers with complimentary hot drinks and treats, and gave away 4.4 million free items as “random acts of kindness”. Pret introduced new sustainability initiatives, including reusable bottles, free water stations and a discount for bringing a reusable cup into shops. Chief executive Clive Schlee said: “This is another satisfactory set of results for Pret, and our 34th consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth. The brand continues to thrive around the world thanks to its simple recipe of freshly prepared food served by genuinely engaged teams. We’re looking forward to working closely with JAB, which we believe will be an excellent long-term owner of Pret. I would also like to thank Bridgepoint for its committed stewardship over the past ten years.”

Customer consultation – Veggie Pret and sustainability
A spokesman stated: “The company continues to use social media to consult customers on key topics, including Pret’s vegetarian offering and sustainability. In response to the growing interest in vegetarian food, two Veggie Pret shops opened in London and the first Veggie Pret outside London will open later this year. Towards the end of 2017, our chief executive asked whether Pret should double its discount for reusable coffee cups to 50p. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and usage of reusable cups has increased significantly as a result (from fewer than 8,000 every week to 85,000 in six months). Reusable cup discounts have also been introduced to shops in the US, Shanghai, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.”

International growth
The company stated: “Pret opened its 500th shop last year and its operations now span nine markets. The company opened 58 shops during 2017 of which 31 are in the UK, 16 in the US, six in Hong Kong, four in France and one in Singapore. Pret continues to thrive in transport hubs and the company has committed to expanding in North America and Europe in partnership with HMSHost in the coming year (shops have already opened at Copenhagen airport and Utrecht Centraal train station in the Netherlands).”

Helping the homeless
The company stated: “The Pret Foundation Trust raised a record £1.9m in 2017 to help break the cycle of homelessness. This year it celebrates the ten-year anniversary of its Rising Stars programme, which helps ex-homeless and former offenders back into work each year. So far, more than 400 Rising Stars have had the opportunity to turn their lives around through working at Pret.”

Outlook
The company stated: “Pret has continued to see a positive performance so far in 2018 despite challenging weather conditions in the UK and US in the first quarter. Pret has so far opened 31 shops in 2018, and its menu of freshly prepared food and organic coffee has been well received by new customers in Denmark, the Netherlands and at a busy new motorway service station in Delaware in the US. The company is looking forward to opening its first shop in Germany later this year at Berlin Central station.”

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