Tea and coffee specialist Whittard of Chelsea is to expand in to the Ukraine and Mexico as it continues to pursue international growth.

Whittard also wants more UK stores

Whittard is also reviewing business plans from potential franchise partners in Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey and Korea and is drawing up a shortlist of would-be franchisees in Hong Kong and Japan.

The retailer already has 30 franchised stores in Chile, China, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Dubai, Romania and Thailand.

Managing director Sara Halton, who joined the retailer last June, aims to enhance the shopping experience in the UK and increase shops overseas.

The 74-store retailer was bought out of administration by private equity firm Epic in 2008 and is looking for more stores in the UK.

Halton said: “We continue to be pleased with our performance in a challenging retail environment.

“Entering markets such as Ukraine and Mexico is an exciting step forward and is in line with our expansion objectives.”