The managing director of Pret A Manger, the UK sandwich shop chain, has stepped down, according to reports.

Andrew Walker had been with the company for 12 years and was head of its UK business for the past four-and-a-half years.

According to M&C Report, a sister title of British Baker, a search for Walker’s successor is now under way.

During Walker’s time at Pret he had also been IT director and director of operations. Before joining the chain he was head of IT infrastructure and support at Deloitte.

He took up the role of UK managing director two months after Bridgepoint acquired a majority stake in the sandwich and coffee bar business, in a deal thought to be worth £345m.

In May, the group reported a 6.5% increase in like-for-like sales growth for the year to 29 December 2011, in what it described as “challenging consumer market”. During the 12 months, the group opened 30 stores in total, including 22 in the UK.