Bakery chain Greggs has posted an12% jump in full-year sales driven by strong demand for its takeaway food.

The company operates some 1,200 outlets selling sandwiches and savouries under the Greggs and Bakers Oven brands said pre-tax profit to December 28 rose a record 12% to £36.7m. Group sales also grew 12% to £422.6m with like-for-like sales up 6.4%. Trading in the first nine weeks of the new year is up 5.2%.

Greggs added 58 stores during the year and expects to open another 45 this year, including one or two in Continental Europe to add to its two shops in Belgium.

Chairman Derek Netherton said: "Greggs is the market leader in a growing sector, with strong brands, proven formats and exceptional people.

“Despite further cost pressures we believe that the group is well placed to achieve another year of satisfactory progress in 2003."