Shares in specialist fresh cream cakes purveyor Cake Box (CBOX:AIM) sweetened up 7.5% to 187p on Tuesday after the company said it was paying a special dividend to reflect very strong trading over the last three months.

Today’s trading statement covers the five months to 31 August and includes a six-week period from March when all the 133 stores were closed. The company gradually reopened sites such that by the beginning of June 131 stores were open for business.

FLYING OFF THE SHELVES

Since that time customers seem to have had an insatiable appetite for the special treats, helping to push like-for-like revenues around 14.1% higher across the franchised estate. Online orders were particularly strong, up 74%, accelerating the increasing trend to online seen across all retail sectors since the onset of the pandemic.

In addition, the increasing appeal of its delivery service through UberEats, Deliveroo and Just Eat (JET) helped to stoke online demand. Five new stores have been opened since June including Basingstoke and Swindon with the company saying it has a healthy pipeline of new franchisees and locations to achieve its targeted growth.

Strong trading and good cash generation during the first five months of the new financial year has prompted the board to propose a special dividend equivalent to the withdrawn final dividend in April of 3.2 pence per share.

The shares go ex-dividend on 8 October, meaning shareholders on the register at that date will be entitled to receive the special dividend on 23 October.

Cake Box also announced it will repay £156,000 back to the government which it claimed under the Job Retention Scheme while no further claims are planned.

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Issue Date: 01 Sep 2020