The Restaurant Group (TRG) expects full-year profits to be just ahead of market estimates despite a challenging economic backdrop.
The owner of the Garfunkels, Chiquito and Frankie & Benny's chains, which operates 380 restaurants and pubs across the UK, said turnover for the 53 weeks to 2 January was 7% ahead of last year, while like-for-like sales fell 1%.
"Turnover for the final part of November and the first four weeks of December was impacted by the unusually harsh weather conditions experienced throughout the UK, although since then trading has been very strong," TRG said.
The group added that business at the 24 new restaurants opened in 2010 was above expectations.
CEO Andrew Page commented: "We had to cope with some very challenging conditions last year. Our people responded magnificently and this, combined with the strength of our brands, enabled the group to produce another year of profitable progress."
Looking ahead, TRG said it planned to open as many as 27 new outlets in the coming year but warned that it expected tough economic conditions to continue.
The group's full year results will be announced in early March.
By Kerstin Kühn
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