Ella’s Kitchen has reported a surge in international sales after signing a major export deal with Coles in Australia.

The organic babyfood company reported a 76% increase in overseas sales to £17.4m for the year to 30 June 2012, as group turnover increased by 36% to £41.2m, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

International growth had been driven by the launch of 17 products in Coles a year ago, as well as entrance into the Finnish market and good growth in Sweden, Norway and the US.

The UK business also continued to grow strongly, expanding 16.6%, boosted by the launch of new products, such as the First Tastes range for babies aged from four months old.

“From a growth point of view, I’m very proud of what the team has achieved, both commercially and in terms of changing children’s relationship with food,” said Ella’s CEO and founder Paul Lindley.

At the end of 2012, Lindley said the business had achieved the target he set when starting out six years ago of producing 200 million servings or ‘tiny tummy touch points’. His new goal is to reach one billion touch points by 2017.

Ella’s will continue to pursue growth abroad. It has recently launched in Canada and is soon to enter the South African market.

Lindley said Ella’s would also invest in NPD and academic research to better understand how children eat. Last month, he launched a campaign calling on government and industry to do more to tackle obesity in young children.