Brasserie Bar Co, operator of the Brasserie Blanc chain, has reported a 28% rise in restaurant EBITDA for the year to 3 July 2011, a period the company described as an “interesting one”. The group, which is led by Mark Derry, saw turnover increase by 35% to £15.7m on the back of a strong first half of the year. Pre-tax loss at the company, which opened its first two White Brasserie sites during the year, widened during the year from £87.845 to £712,211 on the back of pre-opening costs and costs related to the closure of two sites in Manchester and Tunbridge Wells. The company, which operated nine brasseries during the period, said the at the year had been an interesting one, with “unusual events distorting a trading environment for the premium casual dining sector, that has drifted from resilient to challenging”. It said that 2011 had “started positively until the plethora of bank Holidays in April combined with an early burst of summer to distort spending patterns again”. During the year, the company raised £20m through an equity injection from backer Core Capital to fund its expansion, with plans to grow to 40 sites over the next five years. Chairman Ian Glyn, who succeeded Jeremy Hardie during the year, said: “We have two excellent brands and an exceptional operating team. We now have the firepower to grow in a timely manner without an undue dependence on bank funding and we have a clear strategy to add value to the business.” Last November, the group acquired the eight-strong Chez Gerard chain from Paramount Restauranrs in a deal valued at c.£9m. The group is investing £4m to transform the eight sites into Brasserie Blancs through a rolling programme, which will start this month and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. It is also set to add a further two sites to its Brasserie Blanc chain during the first half of this year in Bath and Berkhamsted. The group, which is led by Mark Derry, will open a restaurant in Berkhamsted high street in April and a site in the Francis Hotel in Bath at the beginning of June.