Gear4music has posted a rise in sales and gross profit during its first half.

The specialist musical instruments and equipment etailer issued its interim results earlier than planned – they had originally been scheduled for tomorrow.

They were brought forward because “a distribution error by a third-party research provider”, which meant some information had been seen by “external parties”.

Gear4music reported a 36% rise in gross profit to £7.8m – the etailer sees that earnings measure as a good reflection of performance at an online business delivering rapid top-line growth.

Sales advanced 44% to £31.2m in the six months to August 31.

Profits at EBIDTA and pre-tax levels were both affected by factors such as cost price inflation on the back of the pound’s weakness, investment in a new distribution centre and higher marketing costs.

EBITDA fell by £0.62m to £717,000 and the etailer made a pre-tax loss of £69,000 versus a profit of £966,000 in the previous year’s comparable period.

Gear4music said it is “well prepared for a busy seasonal period” and expects to meet full-year expectations.

Chief executive Andrew Wass said: “”I am very pleased with these results which combine tangible strategic and commercial progress with revenue growth, which was ahead of our expectation as indicated at the start of the year, equating to two-year growth of 150%.

“Revenue growth in our core UK market continues to be strong, alongside a very strong performance in our international markets, supported by our new distribution centres that have improved our scale and customer proposition across Europe.”

Gear4music has just launched a dollar-denominated website serving customers in the US, where the musical instruments and equipment market is calculated to be worth $7.7bn annually.