Costa Coffee is testing two concept stores in central London, specifically for urban markets.

The chain has opened a metropolitan store design with a more youthful feel on Great Portland Street, and has refurbished a store near Farringdon Station to capture the ‘fast service’ needs of business commuters. Costa said both concepts were achieving excellent results.

It will also reopen its first energy-efficient refurbished Costa in Basingstoke, where it anticipates an almost 30% reduction in energy use.

Meanwhile, Costa’s trial for a new breakfast food range to increase morning sales has proved successful, it said, with breakfast products set to be rolled out more widely during the second half of the year.

Sales increased by 27.7% to £198.5m, with like-for-like sales up 8.5% in the half-year to 2 September 2010. Pre-exceptional operating profits were up 55.6% to £19.3m. The company said this had been driven by its customer loyalty programme and innovations in the product range, such as Flat White and Ice Cold Costa.

The coffee chain has big plans to increase the number of stores to 3,000 worldwide by 2014/15 – with 1,600 in the UK and 1,400 overseas, up from the current 1,134 stores in the UK and 582 overseas.

>>Costa launches first ever TV ad