Prezzo tops expectations

Pizza restaurant chain Prezzo yesterday posted a 37 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profit that beat market estimates, driven by new restaurant openings, and said it expected to open at least 20 new restaurants this year. The company, which operates 160 restaurants, raised its final dividend by 12.5 per cent to 0.225p a share and said current trading was in line with expectations. Prezzo recently agreed to buy six leasehold sites from Caffe Uno. For the period to 2 January pre-tax profit was £14m.