Sales at egg-free cake supplier Cake Box – which this year listed on AIM – have risen 44% year on year to £8.3m in the six months to 30 September.

The business said it was continuing to build momentum, with a record number of 15 new franchise store openings and an increase in average sales per store over the period. At the end of September Cake Box had 101 stores, with recent openings including Bletchley, Northampton and Derby.

Gross profit at the business rose 47% to £3.7m, with underlying EBITDA up 34% to £2.2m. Earnings had been partly boosted by an increase in gross margin from 43.4% to 44.3%.

“I am pleased to report a strong performance since our IPO on AIM in the summer. These results reflect the robust growth opportunity presented by our franchisee store roll-out strategy,” said Cake Box non-executive chairman Neil Sachdev.

Growth in revenues and profits had been achieved despite the hot weather impacting high street footfall and like-for-like sales growth in many stores during the summer. Despite this, franchisees achieved 4.4% like-for-like sales growth, reported Cake Box.

Online sales, which are processed centrally through the group’s website and fulfilled through the franchise estate, almost doubled year on year to £2m.

The business has a manufacturing site in Enfield, and is hoping to complete the acquisition of an additional warehouse and distribution centre in the north of England. Set to be operational in the first half of next year, this may also be fitted out with some sponge production capability to enable the business to reduce distribution costs and provide a back-up to the Enfield site.

Cake Box said its performance in the first eight weeks of the second half of its financial year had been encouraging, with the business opening four new stores.

“It’s very exciting to be announcing our first set of results as a public company,” said Cake Box chief executive Sukh Chamdal.

“The Cake Box brand has continued to go from strength to strength and we have made good progress since floatation with our strategic priorities of growing our store estate, investing further in our new products and developing our digital marketing.”