Cake Box sales jump as retailer opens 20 new stores

October 5, 2021

Cake Box has revealed that its sales have almost doubled for the past six months amid a strong recovery in customer demand.

The high street cream cake retailer said it was buoyed by its continued expansion, opening 20 new franchise sites over the six months to September, to bring it to a total of 174 stores.

 
The firm also stressed that it is in a “robust” position despite industry concerns over supply chain pressures in the food sector.

Sukh Chamdal, chief executive officer and co-founder of the chain, said it has “several months of ingredients and the right measures in place to ensure that no event goes uncelebrated and no slice of cake goes unbaked, undelivered or uneaten”.

It came as the retail business said trade has been “strong” across both its store estate and online operation.

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Cake Box said total revenues for the half-year were up 91% to £16.4 million against the same period last year.

It added that franchisee online sales increased by 68% to £6.7 million, as it saw higher sales through delivery platforms such as Uber Eats Just Eat and Deliveroo.

The firm added that it has a strong pipeline of new potential franchisees, with 62 deposits held for potential new openings at the end of the period.

The appeal of the Group’s franchise proposition is reflected in the current pipeline of new potential franchisees, with 62 holding deposits held at period end.

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Mr Chamdal said: “Our performance during the last six months demonstrates the ongoing appeal of our unique cake offering.

“With strong sales growth accompanied by record expansion of our store estate, the Board is confident of making further progress in the second half and meeting full year expectations.

“In short, more customers are enjoying our delicious egg-free cakes, and more of our fantastic franchisees are selling it to them.”

Shares in the company rose by 5.3% to 354p in early trading.

By Henry Saker-Clark

Source: Independent

Cake Box to grow its estate after ‘record year’

April 13, 2021

Egg-free cake specialist Cake Box is set to significantly grow its estate across the UK after announcing record revenue for 2020/21.

 
In a full year trading update, the business said it delivered a strong performance with like-for-like sales at franchise stores up 14.7% in the 40 weeks from 1 June 2020 to 7 March 2021. As such, it expects to report a 16% revenue increase for the year with adjusted profit before tax in line with market expectations.

Cake Box increased its portfolio with a ‘very strong opening programme’ in the second half of the year with 17 new stores in locations including Gloucester, Epsom, Ipswich and Hove. Overall, there were 24 store openings taking the total number of franchise stores to 157 at period end.

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This is set to continue in 2021 and beyond as the business is currently holding franchise deposits for 52 sites across the country.

It is also trialling five Cake Box kiosks with a national supermarket chain and described the results so far as ‘encouraging’.

The expansion is supported by a bakery and distribution centre in Coventry which came online in March. The firm has two other facilities in Enfield and Bradford.

Elsewhere, progress was made on delivery as Cake Box rolled out its own-brand delivery platform with ‘pleasing early results’. This, it said, complements existing click & collect and third-party offerings. Notably, online sales were up 84% year on year.

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“I am very pleased with the strong trading momentum in the second half, continuing the recovery we saw as our shops began to reopen from May last year. Customer appetite for our products has continued to grow, with good traction across our expanded online and delivery services,” said Sukh Chamdal, co-founder and CEO of Cake Box.

Chamdal thanked Cake Box franchisees who he said helped the firm “emerge stronger from a year marked by the global pandemic”. The business welcomed 15 new franchisees over the course of the year as part of the 24 new store openings.

“Despite continued uncertainty in the operating environment, our unique proposition for customers and new and existing franchisees remains highly attractive and we are confident of making continued progress in the years ahead,” he added.

By Amy North

Source: Bakery Info

Cake Box to open 20 new franchise stores by March

November 23, 2020

Cake Box Holdings PLC (LON:CBOX) said it expects to open around 20 new franchise stores during the current financial year ending in March despite COVID-19 uncertainty.

 
A new warehouse and distribution facility in Coventry is also forecast to open in the second half.

Its estate, which counted 139 stores in September, has remained open during the current lockdown except the majority of shopping centre kiosks.

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Sales increased 2% in the first two weeks of November, following a 13% jump in October.

Online sales kept growing following the launch of the baker’s delivery service, surging 56.5% in the six weeks since the end of September.

The cakes retailer hiked the interim dividend by 15% to 1.85p per share following a defensive first half despite the pandemic.

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In the six months to September 30, revenue dipped 2% to £8mln while pre-tax profit shed 4% to £1mln. At period-end, net cash was £3mln, which allowed repaying the funds taken under the government’s furlough scheme and issue a special dividend of 3.2p in October.

Shares rose 4% to 197.75p on Monday at the opening bell.

By Giulia Bottaro

Source: Proactive Investors

Cake Box says flurry of new franchise stores to open

October 13, 2020

Bakery chain Cake Box is seeing soaring numbers of hopeful first-time business owners applying to open a shop.

 
The egg-free cake maker, which has 140 stores nationwide – including more than 50 in London –is set to open another 47 franchises in the coming months.

Cake Box’s chief executive and co-founder Sukh Chamdal said that over the past six months the company has received a “record number of applications” for franchises.

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Chamdal added: “We have seen such an upsurge in franchise applications because of the job situation… This has prompted people to take the redundancy money and go into business for themselves.”

He said due to difficulties on the high street there is a lot more property available. “Because we are a stable business… we find that the landlords are now coming to us.”

The business shut for the first six weeks of lockdown. Sales in the six months to September 30 decreased to £8.6 million from £8.8 million. But online sales surged during the period.

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The boss had never previously planned home delivieries, but he said “Covid proved consumer habits were changing”.

Chamdal, who launched the company in the East End in 2008, said that he is now “very optimistic” about the future despite the “uncertain” start to 2020.

Analysts at Shore Capital said the update was “highly encouraging”, and that plans for larger numbers of stores “bodes well for medium to long term growth”.

As previously announced in September, the company declared a special dividend of 3.2p per share, which will be paid on October 23.

By NAOMI ACKERMAN

Source: Evening Standard

Cake Box shares rally 6% with a recovery led by tasty online sales growth

September 2, 2020

The recent trading update of baked goods retailer Cake Box (AIM:CBOX) told the story of promising customer demand, with the reopening of its stores and strong online sales acting as the icing in the cake.

Between April and May, the company noted that all of its stores in the UK due to lockdown. Having implemented its new safe work and hygiene protocols, the company began reopening its stores, with 131 of its 133 UK stores open by June 1 2020.

 
Though operating with a limited menu, Cake Box stated that between the start of June and end of August, like-for-like sales were up 14.1% year-on-year in franchise stores, as consumers released pent-up demand.

The real boost, however, came from the growth of its like-for-like online sales, which were up 74% year-on-year. The company said this jump had been aided by increased exposure and appeal of its new delivery service partnerships, offered by Uber Eats, Just Eat and Deliveroo.

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In addition to sales picking up, Cake Box added that it had opened five new stores since the start of June, in areas including Swindon and Basingstoke. It continued, saying that it has a good pipeline of franchisees and locations, and would look to target further store openings and new staff appointments at its headquarters.

Further, the company say it will repay £156,000 in furlough payments received from the government under the Job Retention Job. It also stated that it would be paying a special dividend of 3.20p on October 23 2020, with the amount being equal to the final year dividend announced on March 31 and later withdrawn on April 14.

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Commenting on its expectations for the coming month, the company’s statement read:

“With one month left of the Company’s half year, the Board is encouraged by the trading performance since reopening, its level of cash generation, and the prospects going forward.”

Following the news, Cake Box shares rallied 5.92% or 10.30p, to 184.30p per share 01/09/20 08:03 BST. The company’s p/e ratio is 22.31, its dividend yield stands at 0.92%.

By Jamie Gordon

Source: UK Investor Magazine

Cake Box: 75% of sites now trading at pre-Covid levels

June 21, 2020

Fresh cream cake specialist Cake Box has reported that trade at three-quarters of its stores is now at the level it was before the coronavirus outbreak.

 
Announcing its results for the year ending 31 March 2020, the company described the period as one of a “strong performance”, with 20 new franchise stores added over the 12 months. At the end of March, the company had 133 stores in operation.

Gross margin rose from 45.7% to 46.7%, although adjusted pre-tax profit fell from £4m to £3.8m, which Cake Box said was slightly below previous expectations.

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Like-for-like sales through Cake Box franchise stores rose 2%, but had been up 5.1% in the period before coronavirus.

“Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, our first priority has remained the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, colleagues, franchisees and their staff and the communities in which we operate across the country,” said chief executive officer Sukh Chamdal.

The company has since reopened sites after introducing social distancing and new processes, with 131 of its 133 stores now open.

Based on average turnover for the two weeks to 7 June 2020, the company said 75% of sites were achieving the average turnover seen in the seven weeks before 15 March.

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“We have a strong pipeline in place to help continue to grow the Cake Box family and are developing new, innovative ways to extend our customer reach,” said Chamdal.

He explained that this included the expanded trial of shopping centre kiosks, and supporting a click-and-collect system that was popular during lockdown. The business last month launched home delivery through Uber Eats and Just Eat, and recently launched on Deliveroo.

“As we emerge into a new sense of normality, there will still be birthdays, marriages and numerous other occasions, small and large, to celebrate up and down the country, with Cake Box’s growing family of dedicated franchisees committed to supporting those festivities as best they can.

“With a strong balance sheet, operational flexibility and a capital light business model, we remain confident in the group’s future prospects.”

Source: Bakery Info

Cake Box reopens 79 sites after revamping processes

May 13, 2020

Cake Box franchisees have reopened 79 stores – and the business hopes to have all its sites open again by early next month.

 
In line with many bakery chains, Cake Box closed all its stores after the government updated it social distancing advice in March.

Since then, the business has been reviewing its processes and operations and consulting with franchisees and their employees.

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As a result of this, Cake Box has put in place new processes:

  • Operating with smaller teams in store to allow for social distancing
  • Clear demarcation of required social distancing throughout the premises
  • Staff wearing PPE at all times including face masks and shields
  • Implementing an enhanced personal and property hygiene regime.

The company said that after an initial trial of these processes, with stores operating click & collect and delivery, it told franchisees they could start trading again if they wished.

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To date, 79 franchise stores are open offering a limited menu of products supplied from the Cake Box bakery in Enfield where the company has also brought in new health and safety procedures. The bakery is operating with reduced staffing levels to maintain appropriate distancing.

“Initial demand from customers has been encouraging, albeit at much lower levels than in normal trading conditions given the ongoing lockdown restrictions,” stated Cake Box, which hopes to have its full estate open by early June.

Cake Box has previously said that relatively low levels of rent and overheads would help its franchisee businesses recover from the impact of coronavirus.

By Vince Bamford

Source: Bakery Info

Cake Box suspends dividends

April 15, 2020

Cake Box has suspended its dividend after the cake chain was forced to close its stores in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the retailer said it saw like-for-like sales and adjusted profits increase in the year to March 31, despite Covid-19 impacting revenues in March.

 
Cake Box said it expected to report revenue for the year of around £18.7 million, up around 10 per cent from the previous year despite the disruption.

It added that like-for-like sales grew by two per cent for the year, despite closing its stores on March 23 after the government called for the shutdown of non-essential retailers.

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Adjusted pre-tax profits are expected to be between £4.1 million and £4.3 million for the year, up from £4 million for the previous full year.

Cake Box said it has furloughed the majority of its head office, warehouse and bakery staff, in response to the virus.

The retailer said it was also assisting its franchisees in applying for the government’s retail, hospitality and leisure grant, while they will also benefit from the business rates holiday.

The business expected to have costs of around £200,000 each month while its franchise stores remain shut, but it is “very comfortable” with its current cash level and liquidity.

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“Whilst this is an uncertain and difficult time for the country, we are incredibly proud of the efforts of our franchisees who have been sending thousands of our cakes to frontline workers to give them a slice of comfort during these challenging times,” Chief executive Sukh Chamdal said.

“Whilst the current closure of our franchise stores has and will continue to have an impact on performance, we are confident that our unique customer offer will continue to resonate over the long term.

“Life is somewhat on hold for now, but when we emerge from this we will still have birthdays, marriages and numerous other occasions small and large to celebrate up and down the country.”

Shares in the company jumped 10.6 per cent to 125p in early trading.

Cake Box is known for baking its cakes to a strict lacto-vegetarian diet, with no meat products or eggs, helping it cater to religious communities and those making dietary choices.

By Elias Jahshan

Source: Retail Gazette

Cake Box Financially “Strong” As Covid-19 Forces Stores To Close

March 27, 2020

Cake Box Holdings PLC said on Tuesday it has a strong balance sheet as all of its franchised stores close.

 
Cake Box, which sells fresh cream cakes, has instructed all franchisees they should be closing down their stores until UK government advice on Covid-19 changes.

The company said it is impossible to tell how long stores may be closed for, meaning no guidance can be given on the impact of Covid-19. As well as lost revenue, the company will also have to delay new store openings.

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Cake Box confirmed trading in the year-to-date has met expectations, with its financial year ending on Tuesday next week.

“Cake Box has a strong balance sheet with a current cash balance of approximately GBP4 million. The group’s only debt is mortgage debt of GBP1.6 million secured by its freehold properties in Enfield and Coventry,” said Cake Box.

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“The group operates a franchise model and therefore has relatively low levels of fixed costs and will take all appropriate measures to conserve its cash during this period. The group notes and appreciates the various actions taken by the UK government to support businesses and employees during these challenging times and will assess how best to utilise these while the group’s stores remain closed,” said Cake Box.

Shares were 6.8% lower on Tuesday at midday in London at a price of 99.22 pence each.

By George Collard

Source: Morningstar

Eggfree Cake Box opens in Ashford town centre

November 9, 2019

A vegetarian cake shop selling a selection of eggless cupcakes, Eggfree Cake Box, has opened in Ashford town centre.

Eggfree Cake Box – which already has stores in Dartford, Folkestone, Gravesend, Maidstone and Strood – opened in Ashford’s Lower High Street on Saturday.

 
Six members of staff have been employed at the new store, which sells birthday and wedding cakes and boxes of cupcakes in a variety of flavours, colours and designs.

Since the company started out in East London in 2008 – more than 120 franchises have opened across the UK.

All products are 100% egg free as the founders of the company follow a strict lacto-vegetarian diet.

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In 2017, a Click and Collect service was launched to enable customers to order personalised cakes and collect them within an hour.

Currently, the new shop is only accepting cash payments but management say that they hope to have a card machine up and running by the end of this week.

Tara Kattel, who also manages a store in Folkestone, said: “When we originally went for the Cake Box franchise, we wanted to open in Ashford but we didn’t have have the premises, so we opened in Folkestone first.

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“We have had a very good response so far, we have just activated our website so customers can order online.

“We are excited to be here. We want to brighten up this end of the high street.”

Customers can enjoy a slice of cake from 10.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday.

On Sundays, it will open from 10.30am and 4.30pm.

By Georgia Woolf

Source: Kent Online