Bakery chain Greggs' success in fighting off the Government's unpopular pasty tax failed to rub off on the company's sales figures today.
Despite its profile being boosted by a 300,000-strong petition against plans to charge 20% VAT on its hot pasties and sausage rolls, the group's underlying sales were down 3.5% in the second quarter of 2012.
The group, which has 1,600 shops in the UK, said the deterioration from a decline of 1.8% earlier in the year was driven by the weather as shoppers stayed away from the high street.
Profits were down 4.6% to £16.5 million in the 26 weeks to June 30, despite its efforts to keep a lid on costs.
Meanwhile, the group announced plans to open 28 franchise stores in Moto service stations, creating 500 jobs, following two successful trials as part of plans to expand beyond the UK high street.