Piccolino/RBG owner remains confident despite losses

Individual Restaurant Company, operator of 22 Piccolinos and 11 Restaurant Bar & Grills, has reported a decline in revenue of £500,000 in its interim results for the six months of the year ending on 4 July 2010.

The decline of revenue from £25.1m, during the same period in 2009, to £24.6m in 2010 was blamed, as previously reported, on the severe weather conditions at the beginning of the period and the adverse effect of the football World Cup in June which IRC said was greater than anticipated.

IRC said group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization had dropped from £1.3m in 2009 to £700,000 in 2010 and restaurant EBITDA had declined £600,000 from £3.3m in the same period last year to £2.7m this year.

IRC renegotiated a £18.5m banking facility in June last year and in the first months of 2010 has extended the term of the loan to January 2013. Net debt was reduced to £15m in the first six months to 4 July 2010 from £16.4m in 2009.

Steven Walker, chief executive said: "I have been pleased by the return to revenue growth generally experienced over the past five months, excluding the Football World Cup month of June, and I remain confident in the inherent strength of both of our brands. The task now is to find a way that the group can capitalize on this inherent strength, bearing in mind the current funding constraints on expansion capital."

IRC said central costs were in line with the prior year at £2m and the company now has headroom in the bank of £3.5m for future openings and investment, when the market improves.

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