March 20, 2013 / 7:17 AM / 4 years ago

Greggs says investment to hold back profit growth

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Greggs, Britain's largest food-on-the-go retailer, posted an expected 2 percent fall in 2012 profit and said growth would he held back in the current year as the firm invests for the future.

The group which sells bread, sandwiches, savouries, cakes and pastries to over 6 million customers a week, said on Wednesday it made an underlying pretax profit of 51.9 million pounds ($78.5 million) in the year to Dec. 29.

That was in line with analysts' consensus forecasts but down from 53.1 million pounds made in 2011.

The 2012 performance was impacted by poor weather and declining high street footfall as shoppers migrated online.

Greggs said although total sales for 11 weeks to March 16 were up 4.2 percent, like-for-like sales were down by 4.0 percent.

The firm has reshaped its plans for 2013 to focus on its core estate.

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