Mexican fast-casual chain Barburrito has reported a 5% increase in turnover for the 53-week period ended 31 March 2019.

In its latest accounts filed at Companies House, 22-strong the operator posted turnover of £15.97m, compared with £15.18m in the previous financial year. EBITDA, before non-recurring items was up significantly, from £4k, to £152k, with the business reducing its loss before tax to £2.5m, from £2.77m in the previous accounting period.

Barburrito said growth in revenue was driven by strong continuing like-for-like growth from its established restaurants as well as new sites opened within the period, and the full impact of other opening part way through the previous year.

The directors report said the business continued “to move steady forwards” despite the challenges being faced by the sector, with the strengthening of its partnership with TRG Concessions a key focus.

During the period a new flagship site was opened at Arndale Shopping Centre in Manchester (December 2018), which it said had trading strongly since opening. However, it said the difficult decision had been made to close its restaurant in the Metrocentre in January, following a sustained period of trading loss, due to the over-supply of restaurants in the area and the closure of other units.

Its relationship with TRG Concessions, which operates its UK airport sites, was strengthened, with a second airport site opened at Bristol Airport in December and further airport sites expected to be confirmed in the year ahead.

Last month MCA revealed that Barburrito had a site lined up to open in Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal, in September, replacing the Shake-A-Hula concept.

The business reported that it had cash reserves of approximately £0.5m at the period-end, and that its primary investor remained “extremely supportive” of the business, providing an additional £1.1m of funding during the period.

Barburrito has a bank loan of £1m, which is expected to be refinanced in the year ahead. The directors said they were confident that the business remained extremely well placed to deliver continuing growth. “In the short term the company will focus on increasing the EBITDA delivered from the existing estate and developing the TRG franchise partnership,” it said.

It said that it believed improvements in EBITDA would be made by continuing to enhance the menu and product offering and customer experience as well as leveraging the brand via other channels, such as delivery. It said its relationship with Deliveroo continued to provide growth opportunities, with its first Barburrito Editions delivery only site opening in May this year.

“The property market continues to be challenging and as such the company is taking a cautious approach to further site acquisitions.”

Last month, founder Morgan Davies told MCA that the brand was currently in discussions around securing the next phase of growth “and we anticipate getting back to a situation where we are opening five sites a year relatively soon but it’s simply not a good time to be doing property deals”.