NORTH-EAST baker Greggs is expected to report a surge in operating profits by almost 50 per cent as its back-to-basics turnaround plan takes hold.

The Newcastle-based company will today (Wednesday, July 30) announce interim trading results for the 26 weeks to June 28.

At the start of the month, the firm said total sales for the 26 weeks to June 28 rose by 3.1 per cent, while like-for-like sales in its shops grew by 3.2 per cent.

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The improvement follows a move by chief executive Roger Whiteside to increase the focus of the business on the food-on-the-go market, which accounts for 75 per cent of customer visits to its shops, rather than traditional take-home business.

The company previously admitted it had underperformed the food-on-the-go sector, as convenience stores, coffee shops and fast food operators better met customer demands, particularly in traditional shopping centre locations.