// Greggs appoints former Tesco CEO Matthew Davies as an independent non-executive director and chair designate
// Davies will take over as chair in November, when the current chair Ian Durant, will step down
Greggs has appointed former Tesco boss Matt Davies as its new chair as it unveils flat half-year profits.
Davies joins the board with immediate effect, and will be appointed as chair in November, when the current chair Ian Durant, will step down.
The news comes as Greggs continues to trade well in 2022 with total sales for the 26 weeks to 2 July rising 27.1% to £694.5 million.
However, profits remained flat, primarily reflecting the re-introduction of business rates, increase in VAT and higher levels of cost inflation.
Greggs said it has strong cash position and good liquidity, with net cash at period end of £145.7 million, having paid a special dividend of 40p per share (£40.6 million total) in April 2022.
The bakery chain said Davies has held CEO positions at Tesco UK & Ireland, Pets at Home, and Halfords.
He also chaired N Brown Group between 2018 and 2021, and was on the Board of Dunelm Group between 2012 and 2015.
He is chair of private equity-owned Hobbycraft, and is an operating partner at Advent International.
“Greggs has undergone a transformation over the past decade and I am proud to have contributed to its achievements as chair,” Durant said.
“Greggs has entered a new era, now under Roisin Currie’s leadership, and the business is in great shape with a clear strategy. I welcome Matt Davies as my successor as Chair and wish him well.”
Davies said “I’m really delighted to be taking on this role. Greggs is a great business and a brand that I have long admired.”
The bakery chain said it has opened 70 new shops opened in first half, closed 12 shops and has 2,239 shops as of July 2022.
It expects to open 150 new shops this year.
Greggs chief executive Roisin Currie said: “Greggs delivered an encouraging performance in the first half of the year with sales ahead of 2019 levels. These results demonstrate the continued strength of the Greggs brand and demand for our great tasting, quality and value for money offering.
“During the period we continued to make good progress with our strategic priorities, including expanding our shop estate and making Greggs more accessible to customers through extended trading hours and digital channels.
“In a market where consumer incomes are under pressure Greggs offers exceptional value for customers looking for food and drink on-the-go.
“We are well positioned to navigate the widely publicised challenges affecting the economy and continue to have a number of exciting growth opportunities ahead, with a clear strategy for expansion. We remain confident in Greggs’ ability to deliver continued success.”