Greggs has announced a slim like-for-like sales increase despite seeing meal deal sales up 167% for the 26 weeks to 3 July.

The high-street bakery chain announced its total sales increased 2.9% to £321m, with like-for-like sales up 0.7%. However, cost savings and increased efficiency at the firm has seen pre-tax profit rise 12.3% to £18.6m from £16.5m for the same period in 2009.

Chief executive Ken McMeikan said the firm expects pressure on trading environment to increase in the second half of the year, but that Greggs remains focused on managing costs tightly.

“We now expect an increase in ingredient cost inflation in the second half of the year, following the recent rise in wheat prices,” he added.

A focus on promotional activity in the first six months of the year resulted in sales of more than two million meal deals, an increase of 167% on last year.

The chain has continued with its expansion plans opening 18 net new shops in the half year, as part of its bid to open 50-60 net new shops this year. It is also looking to continue the roll-out of its new concept stores across the UK.

McMeikan said the firm was also about to embark on the first phase of its supply chain investment programme, with its new bakery in Newcastle upon Tyne to replace its existing Gosforth bakery.

For the full story see the next issue of British Baker out 13 August.

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