Greggs has reported its preliminary results for the year to 31 December 2022, with total sales up 23% on 2021 levels to £1,513m.

Like-for-like (lfl) sales in company-managed shops were up 17.8% year-on-year, while pre-tax profit was up 1.9% to £148.3m with “brand health and market share at an all-time high.”

Current trading has seen lfl sales in company-managed shops up 18.8% in the first nine weeks of 2023, in line with expectations and reflecting the impact of Omicron the prior year.

The company is confident in “the medium-term opportunity to become a significantly larger multichannel business.”

The food-to-go operator further reported a “robust cash position of £191.6m supporting plans for future investment in growth” and a record 147 net shop openings in 2022. It has also relocated 25 existing shops to better sites to support growth, and refurbished 86 to its latest format.

The estate stands at 2,328 shops as of 31 December, with a target of 150 net openings for 2023. Greggs sees “clear opportunity for significantly more than 3,000 UK shops in time.”

The chain continued to expand its presence in central London as well as retail parks and key transport hubs, with openings in Leicester Square, Liverpool Street Station, and Birmingham and Liverpool airports.

Greggs has also reported progress on evening trade, with its strongest growing day part now post-4pm. 500 shops are now open until 8pm or beyond and further development planned for 2023, while its evening offer comprising pizza and chicken goujons is “growing well,” including sharing boxes via delivery.

1,270 shops now operate delivery sales – which forms 5% of sales overall – with a longer-term opportunity to grow the channel, despite in-store volumes recovering post-pandemic.

The brand is also working on driving loyalty and personalised engagement and has seen strong growth in the use of the Greggs app, with 1.1 million active users in Q4 2022, up from 0.4 million in Q4 2021. Exclusive offers and benefits have resulted in 8.1% of company-managed shop transactions scanning the Greggs app for benefits in Q4 2022.

Greggs has also invested in its supply chain to support growth, with a new pizza manufacturing plant in Enfield and additional pastry savoury capacity under construction at Balliol Park.

The brand reports plans for expansion of its logistics capacity are progressing well, along with its ESG targets following the opening of its first eco-shop – a new format to test ways to reduce Greggs’ environmental impact.

CEO Roisin Currie commented: “2022 has been a year of strong progress for Greggs, the result of committed efforts to deliver our strategic growth plan. The significant opportunities on which the plan is based will remain centre stage in the year ahead as we make Greggs more accessible to even more customers. Although consumer incomes remain under pressure, Greggs continues to offer exceptional value to people looking for great tasting, high-quality food and drink on-the-go.

“We have an exciting, ambitious plan for the years ahead and, by continuing to nurture what makes Greggs special, I believe we are extremely well-placed to realise the opportunity to become a significantly larger, multi-channel business.”