Pret A Manger has reported results for the 52 weeks to 28 December 2017, showing Group sales up rose by 13.2% to £878.5m and like-for-like sales by 3.2%.
During the period, the company opened 58 new stores and its 500th, and created over 1,150 new jobs worldwide.
A further two Veggie Pret shops opened in London, and more than half of the range of sandwiches and salads in regular Pret shops were vegetarian or vegan.
The year revealed that turmeric was the most popular new ingredient, featuring in five new products including salads, juices and hot drinks.
Teams around the world continued to surprise customers with complimentary hot drinks and treats, and gave away 4.4 million free items as 'random acts of kindness'.
Pret introduced new sustainability initiatives, including reusable bottles, free water stations and a new discount for bringing a reusable cup into shops.
The company continues to use social media to consult customers on key topics, including Pret’s vegetarian offering and sustainability. In response to the growing interest in vegetarian food, two new Veggie Pret shops opened in London and the first Veggie Pret outside of London will open later this year.
Towards the end of 2017, Pret’s CEO tweeted to ask whether Pret should double its discount for reusable coffee cups to 50p. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and usage of reusable cups has increased significantly as a result (from just under 8,000 every week to 85,000 in six months).
Reusable cup discounts have also been introduced to shops in the US, Shanghai, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.
Pret opened its 500th shop last year and its operations now span 9 markets. The company opened 58 shops during 2017 of which 31 are in the UK, 16 in the US, 6 in Hong Kong, 4 in France and 1 in Singapore.
Pret continues to thrive in transport hubs and the company has committed to expanding in North America and Europe in partnership with HMSHost in the coming year (shops have already opened at Copenhagen Airport and Utrecht Centraal Train Station in the Netherlands).
Clive Schlee, Chief Executive of Pret A Manger, commented, “This is another satisfactory set of results for Pret, and our 34th consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth. The brand continues to thrive around the world thanks to its simple recipe of freshly prepared food, served by genuinely engaged teams.
'We’re looking forward to working closely with JAB who we believe will be excellent long-term owners of Pret. I would also like to thank Bridgepoint for their committed stewardship over the last 10 years.”
Pret has continued to see a positive performance so far in 2018, despite challenging weather conditions in the UK and US in the first quarter.
Pret has so far opened 31 shops in 2018, and its menu of freshly prepared food and organic coffee has been well received by new customers in Denmark, the Netherlands and at a busy new motorway service station in Delaware in the US. The company is looking forward to opening its first shop in Germany later this year at Berlin Central Station.