Greggs sees seven per cent sales rise as healthier options prove popular

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North East-based baker Greggs has reported a strong start to the year after being boosted by its healthy eating ranges, including cold-pressed juice and freshly prepared salads.

Greggs said like-for-like sales rose 3.6% in the 19 weeks to May 13, with total sales growing 7.5%.

The company, best known for sausage rolls, doughnuts and pasties, said sales of healthier food - such as coconut, lime and chilli chicken salads and wraps - were proving a hit with customers.

Greggs added that customers "increasingly recognise the quality and value" of its £2 breakfast deal.

However, the firm warned that the slowing economy and higher inflation poses a risk.

"We have made a good start to 2017 although the sales outlook remains uncertain in the context of slowing growth in disposable incomes.

"Input cost inflation is having a modest impact on margins in the first half of the year as expected, however we have increasing visibility of costs for the second half and anticipate this pressure to ease towards the end of the year," the firm said in a trading update.

Greggs said this will "constrain" profit growth in the first half of the year but it is still in line to meet expectations.