Fulham Shore, the David Page-led owner of the Franco Manca, The Real Greek and Bukowski Grill, has this morning announced that it expects to report full year results in line with market expectations for the 12 months to 26 March 2017.

The company said it had agreed increased facilities with its bank, HSBC, from £6.5m to £15m to aid both its increased expansion plans and the strengthening of its central team.

It said that these new bank facilites would enable the company to gradually “accelerate its opening programme and push for a nationwide presence throughout the UK”.

The business said it was further strengthening its ties with Italy by joining its founder, Giuseppe Mascoli, in opening a seasonal Franco Manca pizzeria by the sea, located on the island of Salina, north of Sicily. This will be operated as a franchise and Franco Manca will invest approximately £100,000 alongside local and international investors.

The group ended the financial year with 45 restaurants, comprising 32 Franco Manca, 12 The Real Greek and 1 Bukowski Grill franchise. It opened 13 new Franco Manca pizzeria and three The Real Greek during the year, including its first smaller Greek on the Street concept.

Towards the end of the financial year, it opened two Franco Manca pizzeria, at Crossrail Place in Canary Wharf and next to Russell Square underground station in Bloomsbury, London.

These pizzeria were intended to be part of its 2017/18 opening programme but due to the efforts of the Franco Manca opening team and its building contractors the company opened them earlier than planned. As a result of this and a four month delay to the Franco Manca Victoria opening, the group said that its pre-opening costs for the year were higher than anticipated.

Its 33rd Franco Manca in Putney opened last week. The company is currently building three Franco Manca in Richmond, Brighton Marina and Bournemouth plus a 13th The Real Greek, also in Bournemouth, all for Spring/Summer 2017 openings.

Subject to site availability the company expects to end its 2018 financial year with 60 restaurants, comprising 45 Franco Manca, 14 The Real Greek and one Bukowski Grill franchise.