Greggs suffers 'significant' sales slowdown after Welsh distribution centre flooded

Bakery chain Greggs suffered a "significant slowdown" in sales in February, after one of its distribution centres in south Wales was flooded.

The company, which recorded a 31% increase in pre-tax profit, thanks to new products such as the vegan sausage roll, said machinery was impacted by Storm Dennis, which affected thousands of people and flooded hundreds of businesses.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside said, "We made a very strong start to 2020 in January, but in February saw a significant slowdown in sales growth as a result of the storms that have affected the UK".

The bakery chain said it has also run out of vegan doughnuts and welsh cakes as a result of the storms, after one of its major bakery and distribution sites in Treforest Industrial estate was flooded.

Greggs chief executive Mr Whiteside said coronavirus is also causing some uncertainty for the company Credit: PA Images

Around 40 stores were closed for "three or four days" after the site's closure impacted the supply chain, Greggs said.

Nevertheless, despite these headwinds, like-for-like sales in Greggs shops managed by the company rose by 7.5% in the nine weeks to the end of February.

Mr Whiteside also warned that the business could face trouble from the coronavirus outbreak, which is causing "some uncertainty".