Greggs is still expecting to end the year with around 100 net openings despite shutting 35 stores since the start of 2018.
The bakery chain has launched 93 new shops since the start of the year, including 35 franchised units predominantly in transport locations.
Although it closed 35 branches, it had a total of 1,912 locations trading at 29 September, comprising 1,677 of its own shops and 235 franchised units.
“For the year as a whole we still expect around 100 net openings, of which around 60 are planned to be with franchise partners,” the company stated.
Greggs said it traded well against strong comparatives in the third quarter to the end of September, which was characterised by particularly hot weather. Total sales grew 7% and like-for-like sales grew 3% in the three-month period, while nine-monthly sales are up 6% and 2% respectively.
“Our drinks range and new focaccia-style pizzas proved popular over the summer months. We continued to see growth at breakfast time, helped by the expansion of our great value deals and our wide selection of freshly-ground Fairtrade coffees,” the company stated.
Greggs said that investment in its supply chain continues apace with the commissioning of new consolidated manufacturing platforms at its Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester sites progressing in the fourth quarter.
As part of its strategic investment in systems it will be implementing the human resource and estate management modules of its integrated SAP solution in the months ahead, with payroll due to follow in early 2019.