The sun shines on Restaurant Group

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A RESTAURANT chain whose brands include Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito yesterday revealed a “significant uplift” in sales since the end of February.

The Restaurant Group’s improvement comes amid a recent surge in cinema attendances and as the dismal weather prompts more families to visit leisure and retail parks, where many of its sites are located.

Trading for the first 19 weeks of the group’s financial year showed total sales growth of 8 per cent, with the figure up by 4 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

The group has around 400 outlets and is on track to open between 25 and 30 new restaurants in the year to December, with around half set to be Frankie & Benny’s. It is also exploring opportunities for more ‘Coast to Coast’ sites after reporting a “superb” performance for the first outlet in Brighton.

Panmure Gordon analyst Simon French kept his forecast for annual profits of £64.7m unchanged despite the positive update.

He said: “We remain concerned about household finances, which will be further impacted by an increase in fuel duty on August 1.”