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Vegetarian options boost Pret’s sales

The interior of a Pret A Manger shop

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Pret A Manger

Coffee and food chain Pret A Manger says demand for its vegetarian products helped to lift sales last year.

Total group sales rose 13.9% to £676m in 2015, with like-for-like sales – which strip out the impact of new stores – up 7.5%.

Underlying earnings at the chain rose 14.4% to £84.2m.

Pret said it was continuing to adapt its menu to meet the demand for healthy options and it is planning to open a vegetarian “pop up” shop this summer.

In the UK, sales of vegetarian products showed double digit growth last year, with avocado the fastest-growing ingredient.

Clive Schlee, chief executive of Pret A Manger, said: “Last year thousands told us they were trying to eat less meat. This year we have challenged ourselves to increase our vegetarian options in all shops, as well as opening a veggie-only pop-up shop to learn more from our customers.”

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Pret’s customers ate five million avocados in 2015

The chain said coffee remained an important area of growth, with customers buying 1.5 million cups a week from its global network of shops.

It said it had seen an increase in demand for breakfast-on-the-go, with 58% of sales occurring outside lunchtime.

The US was Pret’s fastest growing market last year, achieving a 13.8% increase in like-for-like sales.

Pret opened 36 new shops last year – 23 were in the UK, six in the US, four in France and three in Hong Kong.

These included locations at major transport hubs such as Penn Station in New York, Nice Airport and Gare de Lyon station in Paris.

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