Uniq has reported better sandwich sales and reduced losses in desserts as it gears up for its takeover by food firm Greencore.

Yesterday, the company said that underlying profits rose by 47% to £4.7m in the half year to 30 June after food-to-go sales rose by 9%, offsetting an 8% fall on the desserts side.

The company is now 90.2% owned by its pension fund after a deal that saw £436m of liabilities swapped for shares in the Buckinghamshire-based firm, which is the last remaining part of dairy giant Unigate.

Greencore, which employs 7,000 people and has 20 sites in the UK, Ireland and the USA, announced in July that it planned to buy Uniq in order to bolster its scale in the food-to-go and chilled desserts categories.

The Office of Fair Trading is looking at the deal and a decision is expected by the end of the month.

It reported profits at food-to-go, which includes sandwiches and salads for the Co-op and coffee chain Costa as well as M&S, rose to £5.8m from £5m, offset by losses of £1.1m in desserts.

>> Operating profit turnaround for Uniq