Prezzo revenue rises as its new outlets pay off

PIZZA restaurant chain Prezzo yesterday reported a 21 per cent rise in first-half adjusted pre-tax profit, helped by new restaurant launches and improved margins, and said it was confident for the rest of the year.

The company, which opened seven new restaurants during the first half, said current trading was in line with expectations.

January to June pre-tax profit was £6.2m compared with £5.1m a year ago.

Revenue grew 11 per cent to £48.4m. Overall branch profit margin was 14.4 per cent, compared with 13.5 per cent last year.

Prezzo, which recently agreed to buy 11 leasehold sites together with the Caffe Uno trade mark for £3.1m, said its recent trading gave it the confidence to reactivate its wider expansion plans.

Prezzo chairman Michael Carlton said: “We are encouraged by the level of trading that we have seen in recent months and this has given us the confidence to reactivate our wider expansion plans. As a result, the board is confident of delivering a positive outcome for 2010 as a whole.”

Prezzo shares have gained 67 per cent in value since the beginning of the year.