Greggs suffers on high street

The bakery chain Greggs yesterday blamed tougher than expected trading conditions and additional bank holidays for a fall in first-half profits. Greggs posted a 4.2 per cent rise in sales to £335m over the 26 weeks to 2 July, boosted by 39 new stores.

However, on a like-for-like basis, sales inched up just 0.4 per cent. Higher commodity prices dented operating profit, which fell by £1.2m at £17.3m. When the £2m impact of the two bank holidays this financial year are accounted for, the baker's profits rose by £800,00 to £19.3m.

Greggs was forced to close 19 of its 1,526 shops on Monday because of the London riots, suffering extensive damage to one store in Peckham.