More aggressive sales and marketing activity have helped Coffee Republic reverse a downward trend, according to its latest trading update.Operating losses to the end of August have reduced by nearly 40% compared with the previous year. This was driven by increased franchise income, the success of its Cineworld concession deal and tighter control over head office costs. In the first six months of the year, like-for-like sales were down 0.2%, which the company said reflected a “toughening climate”, while total network sales growth in the UK is now 20%, driven by newly-opened bars.”The board continues to focus on driving the business both in the UK and internationally. Pipelines in both areas remain encouraging, despite the economic climate,” said a company statement.Coffee Republic now operates 195 outlets in the UK and internationally. Of the 184 UK outlets, 19 are company-run, 51 are franchises and 114 are concessions. It has also appointed property consultant Kings Sturge to find another 20 stores in Scotland, to increase its presence there.