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Last Updated: Friday, 5 August, 2005, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Weather dampens sales at Greggs
Sausage rolls are one of Greggs' most popular lines
Greggs is to open a new sausage roll making factory
Changeable weather has affected sales at pasty maker Greggs, which is warning of a possible slowdown in growth.

Greggs said like-for-like sales rose 5% in the first-half of the year, with pre-tax profits for the 24 weeks to 18 June up 15.1% to 15.6m ($27.7m).

But the UK's largest High Street bakery firm said sales growth had slowed to 3% for the six weeks to August.

The Newcastle-based firm operates 1,290 Greggs and Bakers Oven shops in the UK, and has four shops in Belgium.

"We had anticipated that sales growth would slow as we entered a period of more testing comparatives, and this effect was exaggerated by the onset of very changeable weather," the firm said.

Takeaway food

The company also said it was facing an increase in power bills at its shops after a long term energy supply deal ended.

Rising wage costs are also adding to pressures, it said.

Greggs was founded on Tyneside in the 1930's by John Gregg, father of the present company chairman.

It started life as a traditional baker, but now two-thirds of its business is takeaway food.

As well as savoury items such as pasties and sausage rolls the firm also sells sweet products such as doughnuts.

In January Greggs said it was to build a new 13m new production plant to meet demand for sausage rolls and pasties.

The "savoury facility" will be built in Longbenton, North Tyneside, and will create 50 jobs.

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