The owner of The Bread Factory and GAIL’s Artisan Bakery has seen annual revenues soar by 41.5% as UK consumers’ hunger for artisan bread shows no sign of waning.

Total sales for Bread Holdings Ltd, backed by entrepreneur Luke Johnson, grew from £45m last year to £63.8m in the year to 29 February 2016 after stellar growth in both its retail and wholesale businesses.

Retail sales were up 23.6% to £23.9m, while wholesale revenues climbed 59.2% to £46.7m during the year, partly driven by acquisitions.

Its wholesale division was boosted the acquisition of the remaining 50% of The Flour Station in July 2015, Bread Roll Holdings and DSV Holdings in August 2015 and the formation of a 50% joint venture with Tom Thexton that began trading as Wild Thexton Gluten Free in May 2015. Sales were also driven by the full year impact of its acquisition of frozen foodservice bakery Maison du Pain.

Retail sales were supported by the opening of eight new bakeries.

The accounts stated: “The wholesale market is very competitive and growth can only be achieved by continuing to offer existing customers the highest levels of service and quality at reasonable prices, while attracting new customers with unparalleled quality of ingredients and products.

“The retail bakery market also remains competitive and the group recognises that to able to grow it must continue to provide innovative world-class food in attractive neighbourhood bakeries with the highest levels of service at reasonable prices.”

GAIL’s saw top-line growth of 32% in the year and The Bread Factory’s sales were up 16%.

Pre-tax profits were up 70% to £4.8m and operating profits rose 42% to £6.5m.

The accounts also stated: “The expectation is that the group will continue to maintain and grow wholesale sales from both new and existing customer accounts, while GAIL’s will continue to see like-for-like growth through its existing shop portfolio supported by new shop openings.”

Staff costs during the year rose 36.5% to £24m as average headcount swelled from 872 to 1,240 during the period.

Bread Holdings was no. 12 in The Grocer’s “Fast 50” league table of rapidly growing food and drink firms last year, with 2-year compound annual growth of 27.2%.