Turnover at bakery and café brand Paul UK has risen 7.4% in the past year as the business has benefited from new product development and improved technology.

Group turnover increased from £35.4m in 2017 to £38m in the year to 31 December 2018, the company has reported. On a like-for-like basis, turnover rose 3.4%.

Investment in tech has helped drive growth, with Paul UK online sales up 43%, and the business has since launched its first mobile payment and loyalty app, allowing customers to collect reward points and receive tailored offers.

The company also rolled out a new store format over the period - Paul Express, which made its debut at London’s St Pancras Station and focuses on quick-service hot and cold food. The format was rolled out to Tottenham Court Road this May.

Paul UK has also relocated its Canary Wharf outlet to a larger site, and partnered with delivery firm City Pantry to offer a platter selection for meetings.

The company said it had seen an uplift in the second half of 2018, which has continued for 2019. As a result, like-for-like turnover is up by 9.5% in the year to date, with improved margins.

“This is a solid performance by Paul in the light of continued uncertainty within the sector,” said director Susanne Sauerland.

“Our results in the second half of 2018 and the first half of 2019 are showing significant increases in like-for-like turnover, primarily due to new product development, improved technology/online sales and, of course, the commitment, passion and capabilities of our team.”