Chorion has put any demerger plans on ice until 2002 at the earliest although the company said it was still on the agenda and would be reviewed frequently.

It said "several factors" would determine the timetable. These included critical mass, continuing growth momentum and a full and settled management team.

The company, which owns bars and nightclubs and an intellectual property division, is in the middle of a £45m expansion programme, is looking at potential sites in Dublin, Ireland, Paris, France and Berlin, Germany.

It also has sites due to open in the UK in Portsmouth, Leeds and Croydon later this year.

New Tiger Tiger developments in Birmingham and Manchester had traded ahead of expectations.

The news came on the announcement of full-year pre-tax profits of £9.5m up from a loss of £8.8m the previous year. Sales in ongoing operations climbed 37% to £35.3m. Operating profits from the bars division increased 37% to £7.1m on sales up 63% to £26m.

The company said it had made "a satisfactory start" to the year.