Greggs, the high street sandwich chain, has reported a 4.7% increase in like-for-like sales for the 19 weeks to 10 May 2008, hit by a tightening in consumer spending. The company said that while sales grew 6.2% during the first 10 weeks of the year, they slowed down during March and April due to a combination of bad weather, less favourable Easter trading and a change in the timing of its marketing spend. The group said that it had seen widespread evidence of a reduced footfall on the high street as consumers reacted to the slowing economy. Derek Netherton, chairman of Greggs, said: “We have always expected the group's performance in the first half of the current year to be constrained by comparison to the particularly strong period in 2007. “Our ability to achieve the expected steady progress over the year as a whole will depend on the trend in like-for-like sales that emerges in the coming months. “There has been an improvement in our rate of like-for-like sales growth since the beginning of May (as compared to March and April), but it is obviously too early to tell whether this is likely to be sustained.” The company, which currently has 1,376 stores, opened 18 new shops since the start of the year and closed 10. It said that it had a significant number of new openings in the pipeline and was on target to add at least 40 new outlets to its portfolio during 2008. Greggs said that it would continue to enhance its customer focus and develop its brand in what it described as an uncertain time for every business linked to the UK consumer market.