- Fresh cream cakes retailer Cake Box said it expected to post a 6.0% rise in first-half sales. Sales for the six months through September were seen rising to £8.8m, representing growth of 6.9% on a like-for-like basis. Nine new franchise stores were added during the first half , bringing the total number of stores to 122.

'We have continued with our new store roll-out, opening nine in the period,' chief executive Sukh Chamdal said.

'This was slightly lower than the comparative period last year, however we already have a further three stores fitted-out and once the final legal processes are completed will be open for trading and so will be recognised in the second half.'

Cake Box said it was on track to achieve its store opening target for the year. The company also said it was confident of meeting current market expectations for the full year.

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