Bakery chain Greggs said today that its sales for the first half were up 14 per cent on the previous year.
Sales hit £546m in the six months to 29 June which Greggs said was helped by the popularity of its vegan sausage roll.
Underlying pre-tax profit margin rose to 7.5 per cent from 5.4 per cent the previous year.
Reported pre-tax profit grew to £36.7m, up from £24.1m in the same period last year.
The company boosted its interim dividend per share 11.2 per cent to 11.9p.
It also declared a special dividend of 35p per share.
The company said trading in the first half was “exceptionally strong,” building on “the successful end to 2018, and helped by the popularity of the new vegan-friendly sausage roll”.
It opened 54 new shops in the period and closed 23. It said it expects around 100 net new shops for the year as a whole.
Greggs had 1,984 shops trading as at 29 June 2019.
Chief executive Roger Whiteside said: “Given the strength of our year to date and the outlook, we have decided to increase investment in strategic initiatives in the second half of the year to help to deliver an even stronger customer proposition and further growth in the years ahead. Our expectations for underlying profits for the year as a whole remain unchanged.”