LONDON — Pret A Manger sold £776 million worth of baguettes, coffee, coconut porridge, and veggie food last year, the sandwich and coffee chain announced on Thursday.
Sales rose by 15% compared to 2015, while earnings before exceptional costs and other deductions rose by 11% to £93.2 million.
The total number of shops increased from 399 to 444 at the end of 2016, spanning six countries. Pret says it will open its 500th store this year.
The financial results mark the 12th straight year of revenue and earnings growth for the private company. As you might expect from such a run, 2016 was a record year for the healthy fast food chain.
Pret praises the humble coconut for its successes last year, saying it was the most popular new ingredient it introduced last year and helped to drive sales. Coconut milk now outsells soya for Pret and its dairy-free coconut porridge now accounts for one in five porridge sales in the UK.
A greater number of veggie options also provided a boost, Pret says. Pret launched a pop-up vegetarian-only store in London last year that proved so popular it made it a permanent feature. It has since opened a second site.
CEO Clive Schlee said in Thursday’s statement: “Pret’s simple recipe of freshly made food and fast, friendly service allows us to flourish in diverse locations around the world — from Penn Station in New York to the campus of Exeter University and Dubai International Airport.”
Croissants remain Pret’s No.1 product, however, with 16 million sold in 2016. While Pret is known as a popular lunch option, the chain says 59% of its sales now come from outside of lunchtime.
Pret warned recently that it faces a potential staffing crisis due to Brexit, with Brits accounting for just one in 50 applicants for its jobs. The chain says it created 839 full-time jobs last year.
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