The Restaurant Group today unveiled plans to open 100 Frankie & Benny's restaurants in the next five years bringing it to a total of 250 in the UK as it continues to expand and renovate its entire estate.
The parent company of brands including Chiquito, Blubeckers and airport staple Garfunkel's has opened 13 new sites so far this year and expects to have more than 300 branded restaurants in its portfolio by Christmas: currently it is trading with 294.
The closure of nine restaurants for refurbishment during the first six months of the year did not stop it from increasing sales by 6.5% and growing pre-tax profits by 30% to £17.6m.
Total sales out of those sites were £171.9m for the six months ending 1 July with the concessions side of its business accounting for £38m. Four sites in Heathrow's terminal five are expected to open in early 2008.
Andrew Page, Restaurant Group chief executive, said: "Our focus on the leisure and concessions markets continues to deliver great results. Our business performed superbly during the first half with both divisions delivering significant increases in turnover and profits.
"Against a more demanding background for consumer-facing businesses, this is a credit to our team. With a strong start to the second half and an impressive pipeline of new sites, we are looking forward to another year of good progress," he added.
The Restaurant Group also owns a 38% stake in Living Ventures which owns and operates restaurants trading under the brands Est Est Est, Blackhouse Grill, and Bar and Grill.
The group said that stake had translated into a £750,000 loss despite its recent sale of its Living Room business for £28m.
By Christopher Walton