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Business & Economy

Baker Greggs unveils new boss – and lays out growth plans for 2022

A national high street baker founded on Tyneside’s streets has a new boss.

Greggs has appointed Roisin Currie as chief executive.

The move comes as Roger Whiteside, who has been in the post for nearly a decade, prepares to retire later this year.

It also comes as the business lays out a blueprint to significantly expand its near 2200 store estate across 2022 and beyond.

Bosses at the Newcastle-headquartered pie and pasty maker say Roisin – the firm’s current retail and property director – will “lead with energy and character (and) lead the next phase of growth”.

Roisin, who has overseen the expansion of Greggs’ shop estate and the introduction of a delivery partnership with Just Eat, said she is “delighted” to have been handed the opportunity.

She said: “We have created a plan for strong growth and further development of Greggs, and I look forward to driving this in the coming years.”

Ian Durant, Greggs’ chairman, added: “Roisin has played a central role in the success of Greggs as it has developed as a multi-channel food-on-the-go business.

“She has deep experience of our culture and strategic plan, and will lead with energy and character.  

“Roger has been an outstanding chief executive and I wish him well for the future.”

He added Roisin – who worked at Asda prior to joining Greggs in 2010 – will officially take over in May following the business’ annual general meeting, with Roger remaining “available to support the transition process until his notice expires on January 5, 2023.”

The announcement was made today (Thursday, January 6) alongside a fourth quarter trading update, which showed sales had rebounded in 2021 following the effects of COVID-19 during 2020.

Praising its resilience, officials say the results mean the firm – which began life in the 1930s when founder John Robson Gregg sold eggs and yeast from his bicycle, and later pies from his van to miners’ wives – is well placed to bolster its existing 2200 store estate.

According to its figures, total sales for the financial year to January 1 stood at £1.23 billion – higher than the £1.168 billion recorded in 2019 and significantly more than the £811 million registered in 2020.

Reacting to the results, Roger said: “Greggs has made great progress in 2021, despite tough trading conditions. 

We enter 2022 with a strong financial position that will support our ambitions to accelerate the rate of growth in our shop estate while developing new digital channels and extending the trading day. 

While conditions in the first few months of 2022 are likely to remain challenging, we are confident we are well placed to make progress on the many attractive opportunities that lie ahead.”