Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito owner The Restaurant Group has made a "buoyant" start to year, with like-for-like sales for the first nine weeks rising 5% from a year ago.
The company, which operates 284 branded restaurants, reported a 9.6% increase in 2006 turnover to £314.7m from £287.3m the previous year. Pre-tax profits for the 12 months to 31 December jumped 18.5% to £35m.
The company said the Frankie & Benny's chain, with 139 units, saw EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) and profit increase more than 20%. It opened 25 new units during 2006 and has a futher 15-20 units in the pipeline this year.
The Chiquito chain registered the highest like-for-like sales and operating profit within the group, with profits up 44%. The chain currently has 45 units with up to 10 new outlets scheduled to open in 2007.
Andrew Page, chief executive, said: "Our marketplace remains buoyant and 2007 has started well.
"We will open between 30 and 35 new restaurants in 2007 and we look forward to making further good progress during the coming year."
TRG recently appointed the ex-finance director of Whitbread as a non-exec board director.
David Richardson, 55, who took up the post on 1 February, has also become a member of the Remuneration, Audit and Nomination Committees.
By Kerstin Kühn