Individual Restaurant Company (IRC), operator of the Piccolino and Bar & Grill restaurant brands, has continued to ‘perform well’ in the first half of 2009, despite ‘challenging trading conditions.’
In a trading update, IRC, who plan to open at least four new sites this year, said although the first half of 2009 was a more challenging period than in 2008, the group’s ‘robust’ business models gave them confidence to press ahead with expansion.
IRC’s future trading performance and the available headroom in it’s banking facilities will determine the frequency of new openings for the group, who raised £2.6m in funds at its AGM in July to reduce its net debt, and are still on track to deliver £2m of savings this year.
IRC has also predicted trading to be less challenging in the second half of 2009, as the recession begins to ease off, and consumer confidence returns.
Last year higher-than-expected opening costs for six new sites, and increasing food and drink costs saw IRC’s pre-tax profits take a 55 per cent dive, although chief executive Steven Walker deemed the figures as a ‘creditable result.’