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6,000 new jobs on the cards as Greggs embarks on major store expansion programme

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Greggs is to open 600 new stores, creating 6,000 new jobs in the medium term.

The bakery retailer intends to open 50-60 new shops in 2010 and from 2011 onwards at least 70 every year. This is more than double the number of shops the chain traditionally launches each year.

In the company's interim management statement it reported so far in the current financial year total sales have increased by 3.8% and like-for-like sales by 1%, in line with expectations.

Chief executive Ken McMeikan said: "Although high-street trading conditions remain tough we are building for the long term and remain confident in our ability to build an even stronger, more profitable business.

"We look forward to making the unique Greggs proposition available to many more customers throughout the UK as we embark on our major programme of accelerated expansion."