Prezzo cooks up 11 per cent rise in profits as it plots expansion

 
Kasmira Jefford
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PREZZO said yesterday that a pick-up in trading following an “atypical” summer of sporting events last year has helped drive a leap in annual sales and profits across the group.

The 211-strong restaurant chain, which also owns the Chimichanga Mexican chain and the Caffe Uno brand, reported an 11 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to £18.3m in the year to 30 December 2012.

Sales rose 17 per cent to £144.5m, thanks to 31 new restaurant openings this year throughout the UK including at London’s revamped Kings Cross station, Manchester, Bristol and Bath.

The group said it has been “an important” year for its Chimichanga brand, which it has expanded aggressively and almost doubled in size from 15 to 28 sites by the end of 2012. It is plotting 25 new restaurants across all of its brands this year.

“This is the fifth consecutive year that we have entered without a clear conviction that the UK economy can deliver sustained growth on any meaningful scale over the next twelve months,” chairman Michael Carlton said. “However, Prezzo has prospered during this period of uncertainty and we will continue to drive the business forward.”

Prezzo was founded in 2000 by Jonathan Kaye, the scion of a family of restaurateurs, who have built a record number of well-known brands over the past five decades.

His father Reginald and uncle Philip founded Golden Egg, Deep Pan Pizza and Garfunkel’s, while cousins Adam and Sam Kaye founded rival chains Ask and Zizzi.

Prezzo, which floated on Aim in 2002, also owns Caffe Uno, a brand it bought along with several sites from Paramount in 2010 after it fell into administration.

“With a strong development pipeline in place and the prospect of more settled trading patterns over Summer 2013, the board is confident of further progress in the year ahead,” Carlton said.

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