High Street cheer for baker Greggs despite retail gloom

Image caption Greggs has defied the UK retail downturn

Baker Greggs has reported a rise in third-quarter sales despite the economic downturn.

In the 13 weeks to 1 October, total sales grew by 5.4%, including like-for-like growth of 0.8%.

The company said it continued to see good growth in breakfast sales, including the roll-out of Fairtrade coffee to all its shops.

During the first 39 weeks of the financial year, Greggs opened 66 shops and closed 13, making a net rise of 53.

Defied downturn

Analysts believe Greggs has defied the downturn with its relatively low transaction values in its stores.

It has 1,540 shops across the UK, selling to six million customers a week.

It plans to open a total of 80 new stores by the end of its financial year.

In a management statement, it said: "We remain confident in the prospects for the group and our expectations for the year are unchanged.

"Looking further ahead to 2012, there are signs of an easing in the rate of commodity price inflation in some areas, with the notable exception of energy."

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