Greggs has announced a 3.7% increase in like-for-like sales for the first four months of 2016.

The food-to-go bakery chain said its hot sandwich range and extended breakfast menu had proved particularly popular in the 18 weeks to 7 May 2016. The introduction of its flat white coffee line helped deliver double digit growth in sales of hot drinks.

Over the 18-week period Greggs completed 55 shop refurbishments, as it targets 200 refits over the duration of the year. It opened 43 new stores and closed 21, taking the total number of trading units to 1,720 -including 128 franchised stores.

In March it opened its first company-managed shop in Northern Ireland, at Boucher Retail Park in Belfast.

“We have made a good start to the year. 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 company said in a statement.