Holland & Barrett is targeting an ambitious plan to almost double annual sales to £1bn after reporting an 11.7% hike in full-year revenues.

The health food retailer said sales hit £573.8m in the year ending September 30 but is aiming to take advantage of the growing trend around healthy eating and break the £1bn barrier within the next five years.

Holland & Barrett said pre-tax profits also increased 12.2% to £146m during the period, driven by a 10.4% rise in like-for-like sales in the UK.

The number of shoppers visiting its stores also grew 8% during the year as consumers flocked to its 744 UK stores.

But Holland &Barrett, which is part of the US health group NBTY owned by private equity firm Carlyle, also plans to accelerate its overseas expansion.

The retailer already has businesses in 11 countries, including Malta, Singapore and China, where it has 34 franchise stores and two shops on etail giant Alibaba’s Tmall platform.

Holland & Barrett is in talks with a partner in India over plans to open its first franchise store in that market next year. It ultimately aims to open 1,000 stores in the country. 

Chief executive of Holland & Barrett International Peter Aldis said: “This year’s performance, especially our rapid growth overseas, underlines the fact that rising consumer interest in healthier living and wellness is by no means a UK or even ‘eastern phenomenon’.

“Our experience is that the British heritage behind our brand gives us significant advantage in our sector, and overseas consumers, such as those in China, seem to prefer the quality and reliability of our products compared with local competitors.”