But trading still tough
Sandwiches and pastries chain Greggs has revealed a like-for-like sales increase in its autumn trading update but admitted recent sales have slowed.

Group like-for-like sales climbed 2.8 per cent for the 19 weeks to October 29. However, this represents a slowdown from the 5 per cent growth reported in the first half.

Group managing director Sir Michael Darrington said of summer trading: 'Sales trends improved slightly for a period with the onset of more favourable weather. However, this has been more than offset by poorer performance in recent weeks. Lower footfall on the high street is affecting both our brands, but having a greater impact on Bakers Oven, whose format is more exposed to the effects of consumer traffic.'

The group said performance for the full year will depend on Christmas and that second-half profits to date remain below budget.

Numis retail analyst Steve Davies added: 'A like-for-like sales increase of 2.8 per cent is certainly better than most retailers.'

Greggs has recently expanded into continental Europe, with the opening of four branches in Belgium. The group expects to have added 60 new openings to its existing store portfolio by Christmas.

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