US confectioner Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has booked a 20% jump in first earnings, the company said today (27 September).

The Colorado-based firm, which runs and franchises over 320 stores and produces a range of "premium" confectionery products, posted net profit of US$2.4m for the six months to the end of August. Revenue rose 9% to $14.8m.

"The pace of store openings should accelerate significantly during the third and fourth quarters, and we expect to reach our target of 35-40 new stores for the fiscal year ending February 29, 2008," said CEO Bryan Merryman.

"We are also reiterating our previous guidance that earnings for the current fiscal year should rise 15 to 20 percent from the record levels reported in fiscal 2007."