High street bakery giant Greggs has reported “a strong first half” as consumer demand for its low-calorie and breakfast options grows. 

It reported total sales were up 6.4% to £398m compared to £374m in 2014 in the 26 weeks to 4 July. Own shop like-for-like sales were up 5.9%, compared to 3.2% in the period last year, and pre-tax profit rose to £25.6m, up from £16.9m last year.

The retailer has extended its under-400 calorie Balanced Choice range and has also seen “significant” growth in breakfast sales to help it achieve growth in the first half.

The period has also seen 118 shop refits including 12 café conversions and a return to net shop growth, with 44 openings and 30 closures, as it focused on the most profitable areas. As of 4 July, 1,664 shops were trading.

Roger Whiteside, chief executive, said: “We have had a strong first half with good growth in sales reflecting improvements in our products and the reaction to our shop investment programme.

“Our offer of great-tasting food-on-the-go is being well received by the consumer in market conditions that have remained favourable. In particular we have seen significant growth in breakfast sales, as well as from the extension of our Balanced Choice range of sandwiches and flatbreads with fewer than 400 calories.

“With the shop refurbishment programme continuing to progress well and new additions to the product range, including pizza slices, we are confident of delivering a year of good growth slightly ahead of our previous expectations.”