Chipotle Mexican Grill, the US-based burrito concept, has reported a 25.3% increase in third quarter profit to $60.4m driven by higher prices, increased footfall and new openings. Revenue jumped 24.1% to $591.9m, as increased traffic led sales at restaurants open at least a year to rise 11.3%. The group, which was founded by chief executive Steve Ells, opened 32 restaurants during the quarter, including the first under new concept Shophouse Asian Kitchen, bringing its total restaurant count to 1,163. Chipotle said it expects to open between 135 and 145 restaurants in the current year, and projects same-store sales will be in the “low double-digit” range. In 2012, it anticipates opening 155 to 165 new restaurants, with same-store sales likely increasing by low single digits. For the nine months to the end of September profit increased 18.8% to $157.5m, while revenue rose 23.6% to $1.67bn. Comparable restaurant sales increased 11.2% Steve Ells, Chipotle’s founder, chair and co-chief executive, said: “Chipotle’s strong performance in the quarter and throughout the year is the result of our strong food culture, where we are constantly striving for more sustainable sources for all of our ingredients; and our special people culture, where top performers throughout the company are creating an extraordinary dining experience for each customer.” The company opened its first site in the UK in Charing Cross Road last May, and a second unit in Baker Street earlier this year. It is believed to be close to securing a third site in the capital. The Mexican food fast casual brand has hired the property agent Michael Peddar & Co to search for sites in London and elsewhere, with a view to opening 200 stores in the UK eventually. It will open its first site in Paris this summer, and is also looking at opportunities in Germany.