UK bakery group Greggs has reported that like-for-like sales grew by 2% in the six weeks to 9 December but conceded that the recovery it had been anticipating has come later than expected.

The like-for-like increase in the last six weeks followed a 0.2% improvement in the previous 19 weeks and no growth at all in the first six months.

"Whilst we are pleased by the emergence of this more positive sales trend, it has come somewhat later than we had hoped," the company said.

However, on an upbeat note Greggs added: "This delay will have only a marginal effect on the outturn for the year."

Greggs, which trades from more than 1,000 shops under the Greggs and Bakers Oven brands, said it has suffered from changing consumption trends and lower demand caused by hot weather. The company closed 14 shops, with 200 job losses, in August following poor sales.