Greggs is on a roll as sales grow again

HIGH street baker Greggs yesterday reported a rise in sales growth in the third quarter despite the squeeze on consumer spending.

Like-for-like sales rose 0.8 per cent in the 13 weeks to 1 October, the company said in an interim management statement.

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

Greggs, which sells bread, sandwiches, savouries and cakes to over 6m customers a week from 1,540 shops, said it had continued to see good growth in breakfast sales.

Greggs is launching frozen sausage rolls in more than 700 Iceland stores at £1.50 for a pack of four.

Chief executive Ken McMeikan said: “We have always felt there were more opportunities for us in the take-home market.

“We tested the frozen sausage rolls in 10 Iceland stores for three months.

“It was important to make sure there was no cannibalisation of sales from our own nearby outlets.”

The other big success has been “Superstar Doughnuts”, 1.4m of which have been purchased in the five weeks since they were launched.

Greggs also said it had recorded the biggest takings for a store opening when the baker opened the doors of its Westfield Stratford City shop in east London last month.

McMeikan said he was very pleased by the rise “given the tough trading conditions”. He added that most raw material prices, notably flour, had stabilised recently, but sugar has gone up sharply.