Piccolino owner the Individual Restaurant Group (IRG) is to keep faith with its roll-out programme despite the challenging consumer outlook.
The restaurant group has opened four restaurants in the six months to 29 June taking its current total to 31 sites. IRG said it remained confident of meeting its target of seven new outlets in the full year.
Although the company conceded that trading conditions had toughened markedly in the last ten weeks, it said it remained committed to six new restaurants in 2009.
Steven Walker, chief executive of the IRG, said: "These are creditable results in what remain testing times for the sector as a whole in view of the challenging consumer outlook and upward pressure on costs.
"However, the underlying fundamentals of the eating out market remain attractive over the medium term. Both Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill continue to perform resiliently and these results once again demonstrate the broad appeal of both formats with consumers."
Turnover increased by 21% to £24.0m (2007: £19.9m) and the company made a pre-tax loss of £83,000 (2007: £157,000).
By Chris Druce
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