Greggs Plc

, the UK’s largest bakery owner, looks set to report a 45% rise in second-half profits with a net income for the six months ending 30 December rising to £16.5m (US$24.3m). Pre-tax profits were recorded at £26.4m.

Increasing demand for sandwiches and snacks in its takeaway food stores accounted for much of the increase in profits but Greggs, who also bakes and sells bread has found its market share in supermarkets cut as other manufacturers offer cheaper bread.

The retail baker whose competitors include Pret A Manger is seeking to break out of its northern stronghold and into the takeaway food market in London, rolling out 1700 shops throughout the country over the next ten years. It recently began television advertising and is refurbishing its outlets as part of its strategy to gain market share in the southeast.