Byron, the Hutton Collins-backed, better burger concept, saw revenue increase by 17% to £80.5m in the year to June 2016, MCA has learnt.

EBITDA before pre-opening costs stood at £11.6m, an increase of 7.6% on the prior year.

The company opened 13 restaurants in the year to June 2016 (compared to eight openings in the previous financial year), taking its estate to 65. The number of employees increased from 1,371 to 1,709.

The group told MCA that it continued to invest in its central and restaurant teams and resources in order to “drive future growth and support the openings programme”.

Since year end, it has opened a further six restaurants and now has estate of 71.

The increase in revenue comes in the year before the group was impacted by the furore surrounding the deportation of 35 of its staff after a HMRC sting and the unwarranted backlash that ensued.

It is also before the departure of founder Tom Byng, who officially stepped down at the start of 2017.

He was succeeded as chief executive by Andrew Manders, former managing director of the Fired Earth‎ retail chain, with Dalton Philips, the former‎ chief executive of supermarket chain Wm Morrison, as non-executive chairman.

In terms of a confirmed pipeline for 2017, the group has so far secured openings in Farnham, Watford, Bath, Dalston, Cardiff, Reading and Worcester.

It has also secured an opening in Eastbourne’s Arndale Centre for 2018, alongside Nando’s, Wagamama and ASK Italian.