- High-street bakery Greggs declared its first dividend since 2019 after upgrading its performance amid a jump first-half profit amid a boost from cost cuts.

'Despite the general uncertainties in the market, Greggs has traded well in recent months [and] as a result, we now expect full year profit to be slightly ahead of our previous expectation,' the company said.

For the six months ended 27 June, pre-tax profit rose to £55.5 million from £36.7 million year-on-year as revenue slipped to £546.2 million from £546.3 million.

Sales in the first quarter were 21.5% lower than the 2019 level.

In the second quarter the lifting of restrictions, particularly the re-opening of non-essential retail, made a significant difference to footfall and resulted in 2.8% growth on a two-year like-for-like basis, the company said.

Greggs last paid a dividend in October 2019, but said declared an interim ordinary dividend of 15.0 pence per share, citing a strong cash position.

The company said 48 new shops opened in first half, and anticipating circa 100 net new shop openings in 2021.

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