Baker sniffs sweet smell of success

New products and the launch of a television advertising campaign helped bakery chain Greggs to report a further period of sales growth.

The group, which has 1,400 outlets, said like-for-like sales improved 0.6 per cent in the 18 weeks to May 8, slightly lower than the rate in March but still in line with its hopes.

Greggs has sold two million breakfasts to customers following February's launch of its early morning offer, adding to the 22 new products introduced by the Newcastle-based firm since the start of last year.

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Its latest advertising campaign has focused on its shop staff making sandwiches fresh by hand.

Chairman Derek Netherton told shareholders that the company remained on track to open a net 50 to 60 new shops and complete 120 refits this year.

He said at the company's annual meeting: "Our financial position remains strong and we are well placed to deliver further growth in 2010."

As well as expanding in areas such as the South West, North East Scotland and North Wales, the expansion will bring more shops in locations where customers work and travel, such as transport hubs and industrial and retail parks.