Individual Restaurant Company (IRC) said this morning that pre-tax profit for the 14 months to the end of 2007 came in at £2.6m, compared with a £3.5m loss in 2006. The operator of the Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill chains said revenues for the first 12 weeks of 2008 was up 24% year-on-year, and has increased its restaurant opening programme to seven new sites, from six. Announcing preliminary results for the 14 months to 31 December 2007 IRC, which operates 28 restaurants throughout the UK, 18 under the Piccolino brand and 10 Restaurant Bar & Grill formats, said it had seen “another strong performance during the period, with trading marginally ahead of expectations across its portfolio. Revenues increased by 273% to £50.9m (2006: £13.6m), and restaurant ebitda increased to £10.4m (2006: £1.6m). IRC said its opening programme was on track and set for acceleration in 2008. Six new restaurants, comprising four Piccolinos (Sheffield, West Didsbury, Ilkley, Exchange Square in London and two Restaurant Bar & Grills (Liverpool and Tunbridge Wells), opened in 2007 and are said to be trading above expectations Two further Piccolino sites have been secured and are scheduled to complete in the first half of the year, in Birmingham and York; the group remains on track to open a further five new restaurants in the second half. The rationalisation of the former Zinc and Bank estate is now complete, following the conversion of three Zinc restaurants, and the introduction of the Restaurant Bar & Grill menu in Bank Westminster and Bank Birmingham. IRC said it had seen a “significant uplift in trading at all locations as a result.” During the year, IRC completed the disposal of Bank Aldwych for £3.5m, which created a profit on disposal of £1.3m. It invested a total of £10.6m capex invested in the estate during 2007. Steven Walker, chief executive said: "These results demonstrate another period of strong growth and significant progress for the group, with trading marginally ahead of expectations across our restaurant portfolio and rationalisation of the former Bank and Zinc estate now complete and delivering a further improved performance. "Despite the current challenging consumer environment, the ongoing appeal of both the Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill remains robust, as do the underlying fundamentals of the eating out market. Our future pipeline of new sites is strong and we are confident that the acceleration of our opening programme this year, together with a tight focus on cost control, should underpin another successful year for the group."