Greggs said this week that like-for-like sales were up in the 18 weeks to May 5, due to increased footfall and favourable weather conditions.

It has also benefited from an increase in the number of shops trading on Sundays, it said at its AGM in Newcastle on Monday. Chairman Derek Netherton said: "Like-for-like sales in the 18 weeks to 5 May 2007 were up by 4.9%, improving on the 3.9% increase for the first nine weeks already reported in March. This compares with a flat sales performance in the first 18 weeks of 2006."

Greggs is continuing a number of trials of new products and shop formats, with encouraging initial results, he said. It was also moving away from its previously decentralised management structure to build a national Greggs brand, he added.

Last month Greggs launched the first phase of a £3 million marketing campaign, starring actor Patrick McGuinness, designed to build awareness of the brand.