The Restaurant Group (TRG), owner of the Garfunkels, Chiquito and Frankie & Benny's chains, reported a marginal rise in pre-tax profit for 2009 and said it has had a good start to the current year.
The company said pre-tax profit in the 12 months to 27 December 2009 rose by 2% to £48.33m from £47.13m the year before.
TRG said while like for like sales returned to growth in the latter stages of 2009, they were down 2% on 2008. Total sales were up 4.6% to £435.7m for the year, with TRG serving 35 million meals.
The Frankie & Benny's and Garfunkels chains had good years, particularly the latter, but profits from Chiquito were down from 2008 levels.
TRG reduced its net debt by £12.2m to £66.7m during the year despite its continued expansion programme, which saw it open 19 new sites.
TRG chief executive Andrew Page said it was a "good set of results" for the group.
"TRG has demonstrated its resilience, delivering growth in earnings, cashflow and dividends," he said.
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By Kerstin KÁ¼hn
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