Robust trading from its established outlets has helped Printing.com increase profits by 75 per cent in its first half figures.
The Manchester- based operation, which has a number of sites across the Midlands, saw pre-tax profits rise to £1.1 million in the 28 weeks to October 16. Sales shot up by 25 per cent to £9.4 million.
In a joint statement alongside the results chairman George Hardie and chief executive Tony Rafferty said current trading in existing outlets had continued to be robust and, with the significant pipeline of new outlets, the board remained optimistic that growth would continue.
They said: "Against this background we see no reason why the remainder of the financial year should not perform in line with our internal budget.
"It's now a case of heads down for the rest of the year."
At the close of the interim period the company had cashin-hand of £2.7 million.
The board said that, in view of the trading in the first half of year and the outlook for the second half of the year, they are declaring an interim dividend of 0.5p per share.
Following the recent National Franchise Exhibition, the company said it is once again scrutinising a high number of enquiries.
Also, a strong pipeline of prospective bolt-on franchises exists, and it is expected that another wave of agreements will be completed shortly.
And the group said that after releasing its international strategy on November 14 and adopting a new structure for franchise agreements a number of exploratory discussions have taken place but it stressed that these are still at an early stage and may or may not progress.
Speaking to The Post, Mr Rafferty said a great deal of the performance was down to its existing stores. Newer sites like the ones in Yardley and the Hagley Road in Birmingham were performing well, he added, but needed time to build their revenue streams.
He said: "A lot of our existing stores have matured, and those which have been open for three years have been putting on a lot of weight.
"They can't really be compared with the new sites like the ones we have in Birmingham. They have been doing well but have a target of £2,000 apiece for the first month.
"They have both exceeded this, but they can't be compared with the one we've had in Newcastle for five years which does between £45,000 and £50,000 per month.
"It is growth in the the second and third years which gives us volumes."
Mr Rafferty said the company was looking at a number of other Midland locations to add to the 132 around the country. During the period it increased the number of franchised stores from 25 to 41, while the bolt-on counters increased from 58 to 91.
He said: "We are looking all the time, particularly in the Sutton Coldfield and Solihull area. We think there is scope for 350 nationwide, and we will get there in the next two to three years at the current rate of growth."
The current retail downturn was not affecting Printing.com, he added.
"We have to work harder for each job and as things become tougher for our customers they are looking to find way to improve their business."