The comments came as interim results for the 28-week period ended Jan 9 2000 showed like-for-like sales increased by 7.5%. Loss before tax was up, however, at £761,000 compared to £466. This was put down to increased costs and acquisitions. Over the last 18 months outlets have increased from 21 to 35. Capital expenditure on new outlets in the first six months of the year amounted to £1.29m. This, together with a net cash inflow of £240,000 from operating activities, largely accounted for the movement of £980,000 in net debt. Turnover rose 165% to £5.19m from £1.96m for the same period the previous year. The company said it is now cash flow positive for the first time at store trading level.