Greggs has reported sales surpassing £1 billion for the first time in the company's history.

The bakery chain said sales rose from £960 million to over £1bn in the 12 months to 29 December. It also said pre-tax profits were up 15% to £82.6m.

Greggs said it has focused its efforts on rebranding its public perception with redesigned stores and healthier food ranges.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside told the BBC people who wanted healthier options could now find them at Greggs. He added: "We want people to reappraise us and understand we've moved on from being a pure bakery business to offering people food on the go."

It also reported a strong start to 2019, with sales up 9.6% in the first seven weeks of the year, boosted by the launch of its vegan sausage roll.

Mr Whiteside said: "While there are significant uncertainties in the months ahead, Greggs has started 2019 in great form, helped in part by the publicity surrounding the launch of our vegan-friendly sausage roll.

“We hope to continue benefiting from this strong momentum during the first half of 2019 before facing stronger comparatives later in the year.

“We have a strong financial position which we plan to use to invest in Greggs’ potential for further growth, whilst also delivering good returns for shareholders.”

Looking ahead, the Greggs boss also revealed its manufacturing capacity can supply 2,500 stores across the UK, suggesting the chain could create up to 600 new stores.