Mother and baby specialist JoJo Maman Bébé is eyeing international markets as it bucks the downturn to reveal robust sales.

JoJo Maman Bébé founder and managing director Laura Tenison said it is exploring franchise opportunities overseas but wants to maintain its “focus for being a local high street retailer”. She added: “We have been approached by many potential partners. I am not sure if it would work in a big shopping mall.”

The retailer, which launched in 1993 with a catalogue offer, now has 22 stores across the UK with two more set to open this year.

Tenison said the retailer has the potential to be a 60-store chain in the UK and is aiming for eight openings a year, mainly in high street locations.

In the year to June, sales were up 11 per cent like-for-like and turnover reached£18 million.

Despite the difficult economic climate, Tenison said that mother and baby retailing still remains more sheltered from the downturn and is hitting its targets. “We launched at the end of a recession and back then the birth rate went up as sex is free,” she said.

Store sales now account for 35 per cent of the business’s turnover; the remainder is generated from its catalogue and online.

This season, it has upped its ethical offering with a yoga range made out of bamboo.