Italian restaurant and food shop group Carluccio's is to open its first store in the North in Manchester's Trafford Centre.
The 90-cover restaurant is earmarked for March 2007 launch, subject to completion of an extension at the massive shopping complex.
The company opened a Carluccio's at the start of its new financial year in October at London's Brunswick Centre and now has 28.
It will also launch new restaurants at London's Spitalfields (7 December), Walton-on-Thames and London's Covent Garden during 2007.
Carluccio's managing director Simon Kossoff said research had shown at least 100 locations that the chain could expand to but for now growth would remain steady and concentrate on clusters of stores to keep area management straightforward.
"Although we feel Carluccio's would work anywhere in the UK, a location such as Edinburgh is still a flight away for now. But once we launch in Manchester we will be pursuing site opportunities in the surrounding area aggressively," he said.
Carluccio's joined the Alternative Investment market, part of the London Stock Exchange, on 14 December 2005 at a price of 94.5p per share. As of 1 December 2006 the share price was 77% higher at 167.5p per share.
Financial figures in the full year to 24 September 2006
Turnover: up 24% at £45.8m (2005: £36.8m)
Pre tax profit: up 6% at £3.4m (2005: £3.2m)
Adjusted pre-tax profit (excludes flotation costs): up 25% at £4.3m (2005: £3.5m)
By Chris Druce
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