Casual Dining Group (CDG), the operator of brands including Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas, has said that its current trading is ahead of the market, as it reported “positive low-digit” like-for-like sales growth.

The c290-strong company said it was expecting EBITDA growth for the rest of the current year and has a schedule of new openings focused on “prime sites, airports and concessions in the UK and hotel joint ventures”.

For the year ending 28 May 2017, the company saw like-for-like sales up 2.2%. It saw revenue increase 10% to £329m, compared with £299m the previous year, driven by new site openings and sales growth from existing sites. Adjusted EBITDA was down £4m, from £33.9m to £29.9m.

Statutory EBITDA was up 3% to £17m, compared with £16.4m the previous year. Cash from operations was up 7% to £15.2m, compared with £14.3m the year before. It refurbished 18 UK restaurants during the period, and a further 12 post-period.

The Steve Richards-led group is set to diversify its offer further with launch of a range of Bella Italia products into 500 Tesco stores this September, a further 17 international openings this year, and from April it will go live in 200 stores across the three leading delivery platforms – UberEats, Deliveroo and Just Eat.

It is planning 17 international openings in 2018 in countries including South Africa, Ireland, Gibraltar and the Middle East. The company has 83 international franchise agreements signed, principally in the Middle East, Ireland and South Africa.

Three further sites are planned to open in hotels operated by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), following on from its Belgo restaurant in the Crown Plaza King’s Cross.

CDG said it was also planning further investment in its UK estate, with 20 additional refurbishments in the next six months.

It said that brand development and digital platforms continued to drive bookings, with online pre-bookings seeing double-digit growth. Seven UK sites have opened in the past nine months.

The group said that promotional discounting targeted and at a four-year low at group level.

Chief executive Steve Richards said: “CDG’s brand diversity and digital reach mean the group has delivered a resilient performance in a year when costs driven by regulation and government action have been extreme and unprecedented. Against a challenging backdrop, we have maintained progression while further reducing discounting, which at group level is now at its lowest level in four years. At the same time, we have been very conservative with our retail price increases as we continue to offer best value to our customers. We are confident CDG is well positioned to take advantage of current market conditions.”