Just made: Pret at Manger creates 500 new UK jobs

After posting better-than-expected profits, the sandwich chain has announced that 1,000 new jobs will be rolling off the production line; 500 in the UK.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Pret A Manger's 'good food on the go' premise is still going strong. The high street sandwich chain has posted profits up from £52.4m to £61.1m year-on-year while sales have surged 17% from £377m to £443m in 2012.

Pret, which was acquired by private equity fund Bridgepoint in 2008, currently boasts 323 stores. The majority are here in the UK but outlets have also opened in France, as well as further afield in Hong Kong and the United States.

The Parisians have gone wild - or should that be 'fou'? - for Pret A Manger's unique branding and 'freshly made today' promise.  Average weekly sales in the French capital far outstrip any other region.

Pret's ongoing profitability means that the chain is planning to open another 50 new shops worldwide this year, up from 36 new launches last year.

Chief executive Clive Schlee said 2012 had been a 'strong year' for the firm.

He also responded to criticism from London Mayor Boris Johnson earlier this year that the firm was not hiring enough UK citizens. According to Schlee, Pret employed 15% more British staff in 2012 than the previous year. 

However, while admitting that he had capitulated to the Mayor's demands, Schlee added: 'Inside London it's a much more cosmopolitan economy and our staff reflect the nature of the people in London.'

However, the Pret boss did acknowledge the tough trading environment in many of the sandwich chain's key markets. Against this backdrop, Schlee will be very targeted with the new store openings and site refurbishments. Only profitable sites and territories will see investment. 

Looks like he knows what side his bread is buttered...

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