Egg-free cake supplier Cake Box has opened five new shops in the past two months, including its first in Wales.

The business said it had made an encouraging start to it the second half of its financial year as it announced first half-year results for the six months ended 30 September 2019.

As previously announced in a trading update, revenue rose 6% to £8.8m, up £0.5m on the same period a year ago.

Gross profit increased by 8% to £3.67m, but EBITDA fell 9.0% to £1.97m. Cake Box said this reflected six months of additional plc costs compared to three months in the previous period (Cake Box listed on the Alternative Investment Market in June 2018), alongside a reversal of expected H1/H2 weighting of store openings and further investment in the business.

Operational highlights over the first half had included nine new franchise stores (taking the total to 122 at 30 September 2019), the launch of new products including red velvet cakes, and the opening of a new Bradford warehouse and distribution facility.

“During the period, our focus has been on the consolidation of our strategy as we continue to grow the business through rolling out new stores, improving our customer offer and expanding our customer base,” said Cake Box chief executive officer Sukh Chamdal.

He added that trading during the first eight weeks of the second half had been “encouraging” and that the business had opened five new stores, including one in Cardiff.

“With initiatives continuing apace to enhance our product offer, and with strengthened operational capabilities through our new warehouse and distribution facilities, we remain on track for another year of growth.”

All Cake Box cakes are egg-free which, according to the company, enables it to target a larger potential market, including those unable to eat eggs for dietary or religious reasons.