Opening new stores outside large expensive cities boosted cake and coffee firm Patisserie Holdings PLC (LON:CAKE), it revealed, posting increased revenues and profits in its latest half year.
The group, which owns the Patisserie Valerie chain, opened 12 new stores funded from operating cash flow in the six months to end March.
This included two designer outlets, one motorway service station, two brasseries, two shopping centres, one new store in Scotland, three concession stores in Debenhams and its first new Baker & Spice store..
Locations included Preston, Durham and Bradford, which have lower rentals than larger cities, and with good sales these are exceeding management's expectations.
Pre-tax profit for the six months rose 20.6% compared to the same time last year to £8.4mln, on revenues, up 14.4% to £50mln.
The group declared a dividend of 1p a share compared to nil in 2015.
Luke Johnson, the executive chairman, said: "The group has continued to deliver strong growth in sales and profit in what is a competitive trading environment. We opened 12 new stores in the period all of which are performing well. Our pipeline for new stores is well developed and I look forward to another period of strong growth in the second half of the year".
Shares added 4.66% to 353.75p.