Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill operator Individual Restaurant Company expects to beat market forecasts when it announces pre-tax profits for the year.
IRC operates 22 Piccolinos and 11 RBGs around the UK, predominantly outside the South East. In a statement today the group said it exceeded its target of cutting £2m of costs in the past year to meet the challenging market.
Net debt on 31 December 2009 was £12.4m, lower than at the end of 2008, when it stood at £15.8m. The group is financed by an £18.5m loan facility of which £6.1m remained untouched at the year-end.
Stephen Walker, chief executive of IRC, said: "I am pleased to report another sound trading performance in what remains a challenging market. We remain committed to a focus on our core customer values, whilst maintaining tight cost control and improving efficiencies across the group.
"IRC benefits from two strong restaurant brands with demonstrable roll out potential for both Piccolino and Bar & Grill on a national scale. The group is well placed to capitalise on an improvement in the consumer environment as that materialises and the directors remain confident in the future prospects for the group."
The group's preliminary results will be announced on 19 April 2010.