Lebanese restaurant business Comptoir Group is confident that its distinctive food offer will see it through the challenges currently facing the casual dining sector.
In announcing the company's annual results which showed a 38% increase in revenue to £29.6m in 2017, chairman Richard Kleiner said that it was continuing to see "the cautiousness of consumers, that we identified in the early part of 2017, and believe it will continue throughout the year."
He added: "The plan to open two restaurants in 2018 will allow the group to focus on consolidating its position in the market and further promoting its brands. The directors remain confident in the restaurant brands of the group and its relevance within the eating out market as consumers seek a differentiated food and service experience."
The company also announced a 36% increase in gross profit to £21.3m, while adjusted EDITDA was down 58% to £1.1m which was explained by the opening costs of restaurants during 2016 and 2017.
By the end of 2017 the group had 26 restaurants, having opened a three Comptoir Libanais and one Shawa restaurant during the year, and three franchise operations. A further two sites are planned to launch this year. The group said it plans "to focus heavily on ensuring that all sites are operating effectively, with a particular focus on the newer restaurants".
There are also plans for two further international Comptoir locations, in Dubai Airport and Abu Dhab Airport. Both are due to open in 2019 with the group's current franchise partner HMS Host.