PayPoint has reported a 15.5% increase in half-year pre-tax profits to £18.3m.

Sales rose 6% to £101.7m in the 27 weeks to 30 September.

The company said transactions were up 18% to 345 million during the period. There had been strong growth in transactions by phone and the internet, with phone transactions up 27% to more than 10 million and internet transactions up by 22%.

It also said its Romanian network continued to grow profitably, with Romanian bill payment transactions up 38% to more than 11.6 million.

Collect+, PayPoint’s parcel service, has doubled transactions to over three million and is now available in more than 5,000 sites.

“I am pleased to report respectable growth in transactions, net revenue and operating profits in the first half of this financial year, demonstrating the strength of the UK retail channel,” said PayPoint chairman David Newlands.

“Our Romanian business and our parcels service are both now profitable. PayByPhone, parking and other mobile payments, such as for tolling, offer substantial future revenue opportunities,” he added.

“For the current financial year, trading is in line with the company’s expectations. Our retail networks are strong and developing well.  We intend to pursue further opportunities to enhance UK retail yield and to grow the Romanian retail network, thereby increasing market share in bill payment and retail services in both countries. We expect continued progress in the internet and mobile payment channels.”