A rapid expansion has helped fledgling restaurant group Prezzo more than quadruple its pre-tax profit to £1.3m in the six months to 27 June.
The group opened nine new restaurants in the six-month period and launched a new brand, a Mexican restaurant called Chimichanga, which helped boost turnover by more than 54% to £9.2m, compared with £4.2m for the same period in 2003.
Prezzo said trading at the first Chimichanga restaurant, in Braintree, Essex, which opened in July, was encouraging.
Chief executive Jonathan Kaye added: "We're very pleased with the results. We have exceeded the forecast of £800,000 pre-tax profit. Our intention is to continue expanding quickly and keep improving."
Since the end of the period the group has opened a further five restaurants, taking its portfolio to 40, and has more under construction.
Prezzo has funds of more than £11m to aid expansion.