London bar and restaurant group Hartford is in the black after seven years of trading as a public-listed company.
The Hartford Group made £445,000 profit before tax for 2004, compared with a loss of £637,000 the previous year. The group owns bars in central London, Wimbledon and Canary Wharf, and a restaurant in Richmond.
However, taking into account one-off costs, exceptional items and amortisation following the purchase of three new restaurants and disposal of the Dakota restaurant, the group's pre-tax profit stood at £70,000.
Its like-for-like sales performance was up by 1.3% for its core bars, but decreased by 0.7% for the group. Christmas trading was stronger, up 8.4% on last year's record performance.
Total overall sales were down by 16% at £12m, because of the disposal of lossmaking sites.
James Kowszun, the group's chief executive, said: "We spent the last two years stabilising the business both operationally and financially, and are now aggressively looking to expand."
He added that the group is targeting individual sites or small clusters in some London villages, such as Chiswick or Twickenham.