Sales revenue was up to $7.3m (€5.3m) in their first quarter report for financial year 2008, compared to $6.8m (€4.9m) for the same period last year. Operating margins remained similar, at 22.3 per cent in the first quarter ended 31 May compared to 21.7 per cent in the same period last year. Operating income was $1.6m compared to $1.5m the same quarter in 2006. Bryan Merryman, the company's chief operating officer, said the company is on target to increase profits by 15 to 20 per cent from the record levels reported in the previous financial year. Net earnings for all operations increased 11 per cent to $1m (€0.7m) compared to the three months ending 31 May 2006. "Factors critical to the company's anticipated earnings growth include, among others, unit openings, same-store sales, and same-store pounds purchased from the factory," Merryman has previously said. During the first quarter of 2007, factory sales accounted for 75.7 per cent of revenues compared to 69.5 per cent of revenues in the same quarter 2006. Factory sales rose to $5.5m, a 14.5 per cent rise compared to the same period last year. Revenues from royalty and marketing, franchise fees and retail sales accounted for the rest. Sales from these sources totalled $1.7m for the quarter, a 19 per cent decline from the same quarter last year. The company indicated retail sales were boosted by the opening of four new franchised stores during the quarter just ended, with eight or ten more scheduled during the current quarter. The company claims to own the largest chain of retail chocolate stores in the US, but wants to widen this lead with further franchising deals. Merryman said the company is on track to reach a target of between 35 to 40 stores by the end of the fiscal year ending 28 February. The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory said sales at franchised stores increased one per cent during the quarter ended 31 May. The Colorado based company is an international franchiser of gourmet chocolate and confectionery stores, as well as a manufacturer of premium chocolates and other confectionery products. It operates 319 stores in the US, Canada and United Arab Emirates.