Greggs is developing its systems for supplying evening meals following ‘encouraging’ trials.

The business is currently trialling evening opening in some of its stores, offering a range of post-4pm deals. These include the brand’s successful £2 pizza-plus-drink offer and a new hot menu meal deal made up of any hot sandwich or chicken goujons plus potato wedges and a drink for £4.

“We are encouraged by customer demand for our delivery service trials, and are developing the operational processes to service this channel,” stated the business in a trading update for the 13 weeks to 28 September 2019

Greggs reported a 12.4% hike in total sales, ahead of a 7.3% increase 12 months ago, with like-for-like sales in company-managed shops up 7.4%.

In the year to 28 September the company opened 56 net new shops, opening 90 new shops and closing 34.

Greggs passed the 2,000-shop mark in August with the opening of a new site at South Shields Interchange, and had 2,009 shops trading at 28 September.

The business reported it was making good progress with the construction of a new southern distribution centre at Amesbury, Wiltshire, that will provide additional capacity for 250 new and existing shops.

“Overall input cost inflation is in line with our previous guidance to the end of the year, with pressures on both labour and food input costs,” stated Greggs. “Operational cost control has been good and we are progressing selective investments in the strategic initiatives that we expect to deliver an even stronger customer proposition and further growth in the years ahead.”

It added that it was preparing for the potential impact of Brexit by building stocks of key ingredients and equipment that could be affected by disruption to the flow of goods into the UK.

The company said its financial expectations for the full year remain unchanged.