StockMarketWire.com - High-street bakery chain Greggs swung to a loss as the impact of shuttered stores owing to the pandemic hurt sales.

For the half year ended 30 June, the company reported a pre-tax loss of £65.2m, compared with a profit of £36.7m on-year as sales slumped to £300.6m from £546.3m.

Over the year, the company said it now expected to open about 60 shops and close 50.

The company expected a decline in capital expenditure to around £55.0m from £86.0m seen last year.

Looking forward, the company said it expected that the business should break even in profit terms when it achieved sales around 80% of the 2019 level.

'It remains very difficult to predict the outlook and likely performance of our business, and we recognise the possibility of further lockdowns either nationally or regionally,' Greggs said.

'However, Greggs is now well prepared to deal with the challenges of social distancing and operate through the conditions we are faced with.'

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