Italian restaurant chain Carluccio's has posted a 15% increase in profits as it plans to open 10 new restaurants in the UK this year.
The company, which currently has 71 UK outlets, said pre-tax profits in the 12 months to September 2012 rose 15.3% to £6.8m on a turnover of £96m, up 13.7% from £85m the previous year.
Carluccio's opened 11 new outlets during the period, including its first in Scotland in Aberdeen, as well as four acquired from Chez Gerard.
The group added that current trading has continued positively with an exceptional Christmas period up 21% in 2012. It has already opened five new restaurants in the current financial year in Worcester, Westfield London, Dorchester, Peterborough, with a further two Leeds and Lincoln opening by the end of March.
Internationally Carluccio's opened the first store under a new franchise agreement in Turkey at The Kanyon Shopping Mall in Istanbul, taking its international outlets to seven with sites in Ireland, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait as well as Turkey. An eighth international Carluccio's recently opened at Dubai airport, with a further three expected in the Middle East before the end of 2013.
Carluccio's CEO Simon Kossoff said despite a year characterised by a continuing difficult economic background, Carluccio's has continued to perform strongly.
"We have delivered excellent turnover growth and exceeded our target of opening 10 UK stores per annum," he said.
"The UK remains at the heart of our development. We expect to be operating 76 UK stores by our year-end in a market, which we estimate has a potential of at least 150. The international opportunity for our brand continues to prove exciting. We expect to develop further in all our existing markets this year and to add new territories as we go forward."