Pret sales up 15% to £776m driven by gluten-free growth

Sandwich chain Pret A Manger has seen sales grow 15% to £776.2m, driven by sales in dairy- and gluten-free ranges and new openings.

In its results for the 52 weeks to 29 December 2016, Pret also saw EBITDA up 11% to £93.2m after opening 50 new stores last year – 31 in the UK, including the first permanent Veggie Pret shop in London Soho.

It reported 59% of sales now fall outside of lunchtime, as eating habits shift to healthy snacking and more meals being eaten out of the home. 18% of sales came from products launched in the last year and 16% of sales came from Pret shops in airports and train stations.

Pret introduced a number of dairy-free products in 2016, including a dairy-free, gluten-free soup range all 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, which now accounts for one in five porridge sales in the UK, with coconut milk sales now exceeding soya.

Pret’s UK School Leavers Programme increased its intake of full-time recruits by 28%, with Pret’s Big Experience Week launching this summer. The Pret Foundation Trust also raised a record £1.8m last year.

Clive Schlee, chief executive of Pret A Manger, said: “This is another year of record results for Pret and our 12th consecutive year of revenue and EBITDA growth. 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.”

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