Greggs profit hit by summer washout

Britain's largest seller of food on the go, Greggs, posted a 4.5 per cent fall in first-half profit after sales were hit by the wettest April to June period since records began.

Greggs, which sells sandwiches, savouries, bread, cakes and pastries to 6m customers a week, said today it made a pretax profit of £16.5m in the six months to 30 June, down from £17.3m in the same period last year.

Total sales increased 4.5 per cent to £350m, reflecting store openings and the success of wholesaling frozen products, such as sausage rolls, through the Iceland chain of supermarkets.

However, sales at stores open more than a year fell 3.5 per cent in the second quarter and by 2.3 per cent in the first half overall.

"The market remained challenging and was particularly impacted by the record levels of rainfall in the second quarter with UK high street footfall down over 7 per cent," said the firm.

Greggs said it expected conditions for consumers were likely to remain challenging in the second half and said there were some signs of future increases in global food ingredient costs.