Restaurant Group profit surges

The Restaurant Group – which owns Garfunkel’s, Chiquito, Frankie & Benny's – yesterday reported an upturn in profit despite the ash cloud crisis which hit its airport concessions.

It saw its pre-tax profit rise 13 per cent to £24.6m in the six months to July.

The company raised its interim dividend ten per cent to 1.54p per share on the strength of the results. Chief executive Andrew Page said: “The ash cloud hit us hard, costing us around £500,000. The World Cup also hit our numbers as fewer people were going to cinemas and that’s where we have restaurants as well. However, we were helped by a great performance at our London restaurants with tourists and day-trippers from across the UK using us.”

He said the company would be opening 25 more restaurants, including several in London over the coming year.