Greggs' sales warmer as weather cools

After two profit warnings this year, Greggs the baker yesterday reassured investors it has now returned to growth.

The most recent warning was based on poor sales during the July heatwave but in August and September the weather and demand for takeaway goodies returned to normal levels.

Same-store sales were down only 0.5 per cent in the past 13 weeks, implying growth of 1.2 per cent in the past eight weeks. Overall same-store sales are down 2.1 per cent in the first nine months. The chief executive Roger Whiteside said: "We are encouraged by the recent improvement in like-for-like performance, although with consumer disposable incomes still under pressure we remain cautious."

He said Greggs does not now expect to add to its near-1700 shops this year as the number of openings is matched by the number of closures. Instead, it is upgrading existing outlets.