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Pret returns to profitable operations with strongest sales outside London

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The sandwich chain Pret a Manger has returned to profitable operations after two years in which it lost a cumulative £570m.Announcing trading figures for the first six months of 2022, the company said its recovery has “continued and accelerated”, with half-year revenues more than tripling year on year to £357.8m, helping it return to profitability in March and becoming cashflow positive since May.Demand in Pret’s home UK business has bounced back, although the coronavirus pandemic has changed the pattern of sales, with the strongest growth outside London.There were “particularly strong regional and suburban sales”, it said, although a third of its 442 UK shops are still in the capital.

The opening of 27 shops this year has meant it now employs 8,700 people in the UK, while across all of its operations it employs 11,500.The chief executive, Pano Christou, said the company “grew fastest in some of the places where we only had a handful of Pret shops before”.Pret’s sales slumped during the pandemic as workers were forced to stay out of town and city centres by lockdowns.

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