UK bakery chain Greggs has reported a 10.6% increase in interim pre-tax profit to £13.6m (US$24.8m) and said sales had been strong in the first few weeks of the second half.

The company, which sells sandwiches, savouries and other bakery products from its more than 1,200 outlets across the UK, said turnover increased to £216.2m for the 24 weeks to 12 June, compared to £201.1m a year earlier. Like-for-like sales rose 4.1%.

Greggs trades under both the Greggs and Bakers Oven brands. The company said that there had been a significant improvement in performance at Bakers Oven and a positive consumer response to the relaunch of the Greggs brand.

"Like-for-like sales in the first seven weeks (to 31 July) of the second half have increased by 7.4%," said managing director Sir Michael Darrington.

"This excellent growth rate reflects comparison with the period affected by last year's hot summer; we expect progress to moderate as the second half progresses. I believe that both our brands are well positioned to deliver further growth, and we therefore expect to report satisfactory progress over the year as a whole," he added.