Bank Restaurant Group plans to double the size of its newest acquisition, Zinc Bar & Grill, within the next year.
First in the pipeline is a new site in Manchester's Trafford Centre in September, which will be followed by new high street locations across the UK.
Zinc, which the company purchased from Conran Restaurants late last year for £4m, currently has five restaurants, which are all earmarked for refurbishment.
First of these in line for a makeover is the group's London Heddon Street eaterie. Chairman Robert Breare said that the aim was to move the outlet away from its present "austere" image.
Breare also confirmed that the group was looking to add two or three Bank restaurants to its current trio of sites within the next 18 months. New purchases and refurbishments will be funded through a mixture of debt and current group resources.
Bank credited a 21% rise in pre-tax profit in the six months to 30 April - to £617,000 (2005: £509,000) - on buoyant sales at its Bank Birmingham and Westminster restaurants. A maiden four-month contribution from Zinc helped push turnover 2.2% higher to £6.96m (2005: £4.72m).
- Bank will appoint its first chief executive by the end of next year, to replace Christian Delteil, who stepped down as managing director in June.
By Chris Druce