Bakery retailer Greggs says decline in underlying sales have reduced as third quarterly results showed demand increased in August and September.
The company, which has nearly 1,700 stores in the UK, said like-for-like sales were down 0.5 per cent in the 13 weeks to 28 September 2013, an improvement on the 2.9 per cent fall in the first half of the year. Total sales were up 3.6 per cent for the third quarter.
The firm announced in June that the priority was to improve the quality of existing shops and were seeking to save £15m every year by 2015 through a new supply chain productivity plan.
It added that its estate improvement programme was on track with 141 shop refits completed so far this year.
Chief Executive Roger Whiteside commented: “We are encouraged by the recent improvement in like-for-like performance, although with consumer disposable incomes still under pressure we remain cautious.”
He added: “We have made good progress in developing our strategic plan and our focus on the ‘Bakery food-on-the-go’ format. Customers are enjoying the contemporary new look, easy to navigate range and the provision of seating wherever possible.”
Matt Piner, Research Director of Conlumino, said that it remained to be seen whether its plan was radical enough.
“Greggs has some good ideas about how to improve, but it is a huge business that is currently more exposed than most to the vagaries of the weather, high street footfall and an erratic consumer,” he said.