Greggs said today (12 January) that it had seen second half group like-for-like sales increase 3%. Underlying like-for-like sales growth was approximately 2%, after adjusting for the benefit of additional trading days over the Christmas period compared with 2004.

Group managing director of the UK’s leading retailer specialising in sandwiches, savouries and other bakery products, Sir Michael Darrington said: “Like-for-like sales over the Christmas and New Year trading period, comprising the five weeks to 7 January 2006, showed an improvement of 5.4%. However, comparisons are again distorted by the inclusion of additional trading days in 2005/06, and underlying like-for-like sales progress during this period was negligible.
“During the year we opened 72 new shops and closed 16, giving us a net addition of 56 units and a total of 1,319 at 31 December. This was ahead of the target stated in our interim report.”
The company said that despite substantial cost pressures during the year, notably in energy, it had made some progress in controlling costs in what is “undoubtedly a more challenging trading environment.”

“We therefore expect to report modest progress, in line with market expectations, when we make our preliminary results announcement, scheduled for Friday, 10 March 2006,” Darrington said.