Printing.com has said full year pre-tax profits are in line with the lower end of expectations, with current trading picking up after a disappointing January.
The group said it is near to finalising the purchase of a third printing press, which would boost its estimated total retail sales capacity over the £30 million mark.
Unlike many of its competitors, Printing.com stores and franchises do not depend on any printing equipment on location. Its printing equipment is based at a centralised production hub with the head office in Manchester.
It also said that it will open a Coventry franchise by the end of March - adding to an already substantial Midland presence; but warned that trading at its agency division was below expectations, with sales of about £1.6 million, a £350,000 decline on last year.
Elsewhere, additional franchise options have been taken out, covering Manchester North, Hertfordshire, and Nottingham. A management buyout of the Sheffield store is also expected soon, it said.
"With the advent of these anticipated openings we will have achieved our territory franchise expansion target for the financial year, albeit the pattern of openings will be weighted towards the third and especially the fourth quarters," it said in the trading update.
Since the group's interim period last October, an additional seven bolt-on franchise agreements have been completed, and one has been terminated.
"Moving forward our objective is to open a similar number of territory franchises over the coming financial year, with the current pipeline of prospective franchisees encouraging us that this is realistic," it said.