A selection of Cake Box's fresh cream cakes in a display cabinet

Source: Cake Box

Fresh cream cake specialist Cake Box has posted a strong performance in the first half of the year, with like for like sales up excluding a period of lockdown enforced store closures.

In a half year update, published today (12 October), it said the positive momentum in group sales pre-Covid continued following the reopening of its estate. Revenues for the 20 weeks to 30 September 2020 hit £8.6m, with store like-for-like sales up 12.1% for the same period.

Looking at the full half year, which included six weeks during which Cake Box’s entire estate was closed due to UK lockdown, revenue was down slightly on 2019 falling by 2% from £8.8m.

It also noted an ongoing benefit from the launch of its delivery service through takeaway platforms including Uber Eats, Just Eat and Deliveroo, with online sales increasing 81% compared to the same period last year.

Six new franchise stores were opened during the half year, bringing the total number of stores to 139. Recent openings included Chatham, Swindon and Hemel Hempstead with three further ones expected to open imminently.

It added that it has a ‘very strong pipeline’ of new franchisees, driving confidence that the franchise store rollout programme will return to the levels seen prior to the onset of Covid-19. It is currently holding deposits for 47 sites across the country.

Sukh Chamdal, Cake Box co-founder and CEO said the company’s performance was testament to the “dedication, agility and entrepreneurial spirit” of franchisees and employees.

“We continue to see strong momentum across the business both in store and online, with like-for-like sales of 12.1% since reopening the business. We have received a record number of new store applications, giving us confidence that the momentum in our national rollout will return to pre- COVID levels,” Chamdal added.

“Despite the wider environment, our unique proposition for customers and potential franchisees remains highly attractive and we are confident of further progress in the second half.”

Cake Box had £5m cash at the end of the period, having repaid government money received for employees that were furloughed and unable to work due to Covid-19.