Restaurant group Prezzo has vowed to carry on investing in new restaurants and kitchen equipment after banking a £7.6m pre-tax profit on sales up 14% to £68m for the first six months of the year.
The company has so far launched 12 new restaurants this year, compared with seven in the same period a year ago, taking the size of its total estate to 194 outlets.
Prezzo spent £12.5m on new equipment and property during the first half of the year, which covered capital expenditure on the fit out of new restaurants, as well as refurbishment and rebranding projects for the existing estate.
The openings included a new high profile London Prezzo, located within the newly-refurbished main concourse of the Kings Cross railway station, and a very busy opening programme for Mexican format Chimichanga, with new restaurants launched in Bournemouth, Bromley and Crawley.
“The pipeline for openings over the next 18 months is well-developed and the second half will see openings in several more major cities (Bristol, Bath and Manchester),” said Prezzo chairman Michael Carlton.
He added: “By the end of 2012 we would anticipate having opened approximately 25 new restaurants and with the landmark of 200 restaurants fast approaching, we have been strengthening the Prezzo team and increasing investment in training, marketing and other support functions within the business.”