BAKERY chain Greggs has upped its full-year profit outlook after seeing like-for-like sales growth pick up to 4.5pc in the eight weeks to November 24.

The group said it now expects full year underlying pre-tax profits of at least £86 million.

This compares with £81.8 million in 2017.

A spokesman for Greggs, which has shops in Bolton's Market Place, Interchange and Newport Street, as well as in Farnworth and Middlebrook, said: "This stronger trading in October and November is particularly encouraging as it builds on good comparative sales in the same period last year.

"Operational costs have been well controlled and, whilst there is still much to play for over the final few weeks of the year, the board now anticipate that full year underlying profit before tax (excluding exceptional charges) will be at least £86 million."

Shares in Greggs jumped more than 15pc higher.

Jonathan Pritchard, an analyst at Peel Hunt, said: "Greggs has enjoyed a stellar start to its fourth quarter, even if footfall passing its stores has been under a cloud.

"The Christmas range has landed well but management is keen to emphasise the results of its work on reducing queues; conversion of potential customers has risen and is at the heart of the strong like-for-like sales."