Full-year profits at Greggs are “to be higher than previous expectations”, the company has revealed, after seeing double-digit growth in the fourth quarter so far.

Announcing a trading update for the six weeks to 9 November 2019, Greggs reported a 12.4% increase in total sales and an 8.3% uplift in like-for-like sales at company-managed shops.

Like-for-like performance has held up well against strengthening prior year sales, it added, noting an 8.5% increase in total sales for the comparative period in 2018.

“Sales growth continues to be driven by increased customer visits and has been stronger than we had expected given the improving comparative sales pattern that we saw in the fourth quarter last year,” stated Greggs.

“Operational costs remain well controlled and, while the comparative sales become stronger still in the balance of the year, the board now anticipates that full-year underlying profit before tax (excluding exceptional charges) will be higher than our previous expectations.”

In the year-to-date, total sales have grown by 13.4% and like-for-like sales have increased 9.2%.

Earlier this year, Greggs announced that it was developing systems for supplying evening meals following ‘encouraging’ trials. This includes trialling evening opening in some of its stores, offering a range of post-4pm deals such as the successful £2 pizza-plus-drink offer.