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Piccolino owner cautious but confident for 2008

21 January 2008

Piccolino owner Individual Restaurant Company (IRC) has said it remains cautiously confident about prospects for the sector in 2008.

The company, which operates 28 restaurants, said it had met its trading targets in the 14 months to 31 December 2007.

Like-for-like sales in December leapt 13%, driven primarily by the opening of six new restaurants.

The company added that if sales from Bank Aldwych and Zinc Birmingham, which closed last year, were stripped out, like-for-like sales growth during the month was 26% higher than a year ago.

Steven Walker, chief executive of IRC, said it was pleasing to see a solid performance despite trading conditions being generally more challenging in the closing months of the year.

"Whilst the current uncertain consumer environment leaves us with a more cautious outlook over the year ahead, we remain confident the broad appeal of both the Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill concepts will continue to underpin a resilient performance over the longer term," said Walker.

• D&D London achieved "substantial growth" in turnover during the 9 month period to 31 December 2007 thanks to a raft of new openings. Turnover in the nine months increased 22% year-on-year thanks to the success of new restaurants Skylon in London and Custom House in Copenhagen. However like-for-like sales in December increased just 2% and company boss Des Gunewardena said "there is no doubt that 2008 is likely to be a pretty tough year".

Individual Restaurant Company sales rise on premium casual dining >>

Individual Restaurant Company reports good performance at outlets >>

By Joe Chapman

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