Pret A Manger has 39 per cent profit leap

While UK sandwich chain Pret A Manger has not broken out details of its Hong Kong business, it had a 39 per cent jump in global pre-tax profits to a record £75.5 million (US$99.6 million) overall for its latest year.

Total sales were £776 million as it capitalised on consumer eating trends, including a demand for dairy-free food. It says coconut is its most popular new ingredient, with coconut porridge selling particularly well.

Research firm Kantar Worldpanel ­reports that flatbread, avocado, halloumi and spinach were among the fastest-selling foods last year.

Pret A Manger says hot breakfast pots have been popular as well as its refreshed soup range, all gluten- and dairy-free and less than 250 calories.

Meanwhile, there have been reports the chain is preparing for a partial listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Owner Bridgepoint is believed to want to continue to hold a stake in the company rather than cashing out completely. The European private equity firm bought a majority stake in the business for £500 million in 2008.

More recently, Filipino fast-food restaurant owner Jollibee expressed an interest in buying Pret A Manger.

The chain added 31 stores in the UK during the 12 months, including a vegetarian-only shop in London, taking the national total to 329. It has a further 110 branches overseas.

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