Caffé Nero, the Italian coffee shop chain, has reported rise of 8.8% in revenue to £222.4m with like-for-like sales up 2.7% for the year ending 31 May 2014 as it eyes a UK estate of 750.

The group reported an increase in gross profit of 10.4% to £54.4m - up from £49.2m in 2013, with EBITDA growing by 9.2% to £38.1m – up from £34.9m in 2013.

The company said: “The ability of the group to fund its future rollout without recourse to external finance is determined by EBITDA. The group was able to grow EBITDA by £3.2m (9.2%) due to the continued expansion of stores, maturity of younger existing stores and careful cost management in the business.”

Looking ahead the company expects to open c.40 stores during the next year as part of its strategy to increase sales.

During the past year Caffe Nero has opened 36 new sites and exited 5, with a net increase of 31 to bring its current UK estate to 548. The directors of group believe there is potential to open up to 750 stores across the country.

Operating profit rose by 11.4% to £23.5m – up from £21.1m in 2013 – with operating profit margin increasing by 10.6%.

The company said it seeks to increase profitability by increasing the sales of units open for more than one year within a range of 2 – 4% in like for like sales. This year it achieved 2.7%.

“The success of the group in its store opening programme and its like for like sales is shown in increasing store profit in absolute terms. Store profit increased by 10.4% during the year.”