High street bakery chain Greggs has revealed it will not hike prices this year.

However, everyone's favourite sausage roll emporium said it is unlikely to be able to offer price cuts as rising wages keep costs under pressure.

The comments came as Greggs revealed plans to open up to another 160 stores in the year ahead and cheered a strong end to 2023.

The group opened a record 220 new shops over 2023, with 33 closures and 42 relocations leaving it with 145 new sites on a net basis and taking its total estate to 2,473.

Greggs is set to open between 140 and 160 new shops on a net basis in 2024 as it looks to give customers more convenient access to its stores.

Roisin Currie, chief executive of Greggs, told the PA news agency she has “no plans currently” to increase prices across its ranges as it expects a more stable cost base over the year ahead.

However, she said it would be “a long time before we see deflation” that would allow the group to start reducing prices, with retailers among those facing higher wage bills due to increases in the national living wage.

But she said rising wages was also “good news as it puts more money into consumers pockets”.

It will continue to look at expanding across retail parks, travel sites and roadside locations, as well as industrial estates.

“Where there’s any location where you can’t currently access a Greggs easily, we want to try and get into that location,” Ms Currie said.

'We want to try and get into that location'

It also plans to continue rolling out evening opening hours on a targeted basis across stores, with extended hours currently available in around 1,200 shops.

The firm posted a 9.4% rise in like-for-like sales across its own-managed shops in the fourth quarter, with comparable store growth of 13.7% overall in 2023, helping send shares up nearly 10% in Wednesday's early trading.

The final quarter performance marks a slowdown on the 14.2% growth seen in the previous three months, as Greggs said there was less contribution from price inflation.

It said it continued to see strong demand for vegan options, having recently brought back the vegan steak bake, as well as Christmas ranges, including its festive bake, chocolate orange muffin and Christmas lunch baguette.