Greggs posted a slight acceleration in sales growth in its third-quarter, showing resilience in the face of the continued downturn on the High Street.

Greggs, which sells bread, sandwiches, savouries and cakes to more than 6 million customers a week from 1,540 shops, said sales at stores open over a year rose 0.8% in the 13 weeks to October 1, 2011.

That compares with a rise of 0.4% in the first-half to July 2, and a company forecast of “marginally positive” like-for-like sales growth for the full-year.

Total sales rose 5.4%, reflecting 53 net new store openings in the year to date and the success of promotional activity, such as breakfast meal deals.

The firm said it was on track for a record 80 net new openings this year.

Ken McMeikan, chief executive, said the trading environment remained challenging, with consumers’ disposable incomes under pressure, but said he remained “confident in the prospects for the group and our expectations for the year are unchanged”.

“Looking further ahead to 2012 there are signs of an easing in the rate of commodity price inflation in some areas, with the notable exception of energy.”

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