StockMarketWire.com - Greggs said like-for-like sales moderated in the third quarter against a stronger comparative a year earlier, though higher growth in customer numbers supported growth.

In the 13 weeks to 28 Sep, total sales grew by 12.4%, compared with 7.3% a year earlier and like-for-like sales in company-managed shops increased by 7.4% from 3.2% a year earlier.

The company confirmed its Autumn menu was now available in its shops, featuring ‘exciting’ new additions to its hot sandwich range, including Chipotle Chilli Steak and Hot Peri Peri Chicken Baguettes.

The company also made progressed on trials to open a number of shops later into the evening, supported by an extended range of great value 'post-4pm' deals.

In the year to 28 Sep, 56 net new shops and the company passed the 2,000-shop landmark in August with the opening of a new shop at South Shields Interchange.

‘For the year as a whole we expect around 90 net openings, of which around 40 are planned to be with franchise partners,’ Greggs said.

Looking ahead, the company said it continued to expect that year-on-year sales growth in the balance of the year would reflect ‘the strengthening comparatives seen in 2018, and our expectations for the full year outturn remain unchanged.’

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