High street bakery chain Greggs has cheered a record annual performance as it notched a 27% hike in full-year profits, but revealed slowing sales growth.

The group reported pre-tax profits of £188.3 million in 2023, up from £148.3 million the previous year after like-for-like sales in company-managed shops rose 13.7%.

On an underlying basis, pre-tax profits lifted 13.1% to £167.7 million.

It saw sales growth slow to 9.4% in the final three months of the year as there was less contribution from price inflation.

The group added that comparable store sales growth has slowed further, to 8.2% in the first nine weeks of 2024.

But the firm said it was “confident that Greggs can deliver another year of good progress” and remains on track to open between 140 to 160 shops this year after opening a record 220 sites in 2023.

It added: “Inflationary pressures are reducing and we have improved visibility of costs in the coming year. There is no change to management’s expectations for 2024.”

The group said it expects its own cost inflation to be between 4% and 5% but cautioned this was “subject to geopolitical risks”.

It said it was on track with plans set in 2021 to double sales over five years, adding that “what started as a plan is now a solid reality”.