The boss of Spanish tapas chain La Tasca has shrugged off suggestions that weak consumer spending will hit the high-street restaurant market.
Chief executive James Horler said the figures in UK casual dining remained good. "Dining out is becoming a lifestyle thing. People want to eat out and socialise, so it will take a pretty big downturn to affect growth," he said.
Turnover for its maiden full-year results to 30 April was 22.8% higher than last year at £48.8m. Pre-tax profit shot up 55.6% to £2.4m (2004: £1.5m).
The group will open its 50th UK La Tasca in Oxford this September and Horler said he remained confident of expanding the chain by 10 to 12 units a year.
As part of this La Viña, the company's more upmarket Spanish bar/restaurant concept launched last year, will open a third unit in Leeds this year with other sites in discussion.
A third managed American restaurant is due to open in Baltimore this November.
Horler predicted the business had the potential to expand to 100 restaurants in the UK.
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