Restaurant chain eyes more growth

Frankie & Benny'sThe chain behind eating-out brands Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito said it will open up to 30 new sites this year as it posted a 7% rise in profits.
The Restaurant Group, which has more than 400 outlets, has already opened 13 new outlets in 2012 and expects this figure will rise to between 25 and 30 over the year, including as many as 14 Frankie & Benny's sites.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
With most of its restaurants in out-of-town retail parks and many near cinemas, the group is insulated from the troubles of the high street while it has also benefited from the enduring popularity of movies.
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Like-for-like sales increased by 3.25% in the first half of the year - a trend it has maintained in recent weeks - while pre-tax profits increased by 7% to £26.1 million in the six-month period.

Chairman Alan Jackson said the group's portfolio of brands, which also includes London-based Garfunkel's, had "very wide appeal".

He added: "The results for the first half are strong, particularly against the backdrop for consumer-facing businesses."

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