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Greggs (GRG) has reported a strong start to the year with like-for-like sales growing 3.7% as the extended breakfast range, hot sandwiches and the new flat white coffee continued to prove popular with customers.

Total sales in the 18 weeks to 7 May were up 5.7%, compared with 5.9% in the same period last year. Greggs is up against tough comparators from a year ago and like-for-like sales couldn’t keep pace with the 6% registered in the first quarter of 2015.

The chain said in the trading update that conditions on the high street were softer in March before recovering in recent weeks. “These conditions were reflected in our own performance,” it added.

“The improvements made to our shops and our product range continue to drive growth in sales.”

Greggs said the introduction of the flat white coffee helped drinks into double-digit growth in sales in the period.

The fresh fruit offer has been extended and the range of salad have been upgraded following ‘encouraging’ trials.

Greggs completed 55 shop refurbishments in the first quarter and opened 43 new shops, with 21 closed, giving the baker 1,720 outlets trading at 7 May.

“We have made a good start to the year,” Greggs said. “Input cost inflation remains low despite increased wage costs and, with a strong pipeline of product initiatives and plans to invest in our shops and supply chain, we expect to make progress in line with our previous expectations.”

The market reacted positively to the trading update and news that footfall on the high street has improved, sending shares up 3.7% to 1,102.9p so far this morning.

Morning update

Fresh from the agreement of acquiring wine wholesale Bibendum, Conviviality (CVR) has announced some additions to its board, with Jennifer Laing joining as non-executive director and Mark Aylwin becoming managing director of Conviviality Direct. Laing has spent more than 30 years in the advertising industry and is currently non-executive director and chairman of the remuneration committee of Premier Foods, where she has been for four years. Aylwin joined Conviviality from Booker in January as managing director of Matthew Clark. The group said he had been “instrumental” in helping realise benefits from the Matthew Clark acquisition.

The Conviviality share price has nudged up 0.1% this morning to 205.3p. Premier Foods (PFD) has opened strongly with the stock rising 2.7% to 38.8p, as has Finsburys Food Group (FIF), up 1.1% to 116p.Tesco has also risen so far, up 0.4% to 159.9p, along with Morrisons (MRW), up 0.5% to 192.2p, and Sainsbury’s (SBRY), up 0.3% to 267.2p. The FTSE 100 has also made a positive start to the week, rising 0.2% to 6,139.85 points.

This week in the City

There isn’t a great deal scheduled for this week, but tomorrow brings first dealings in the Hotel Chocolat IPO, which is trading under the ticker HOTC. There is also preliminary results from C&C Group (CCR) on Wednesday morning and a trading update from Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) on Friday. Outside the stock exchange, the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales survey for April is out tomorrow morning.