Individual Restaurant Company (IRC), the operator behind the Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill formats, has this morning reported a fall in revenues and underlying profits at its restaurants in the six months to 4 July. Revealing its unaudited interim results, the group said revenue had slipped by around 2% or £0.5m to £24.6m, down from £25.1m the year before – which it blamed on severe weather conditions at the start of the year and the impact of the World Cup. Restaurant ebitda also suffered and was down by £0.6m to £2.7m, down from £3.3m in 2009 – of which IRC said £0.4m was due to revenue decline and a further £0.2m was as a result of increased site payroll costs. Group ebitda in the period was £0.7m (2009: £1.3m). However, the company said it was starting to see some improvement to its performance – with revenue in the first 10 weeks of the second half “generally in growth”. The loss after adjustments for taxation for the period was £2.5m IRC said the loss was £1.7m higher than 2009 with £1.3m of it resulting from the full impairment of the assets of Restaurant Bar & Grill Glasgow, in agreement with its auditors. Depreciation in the period was £1.6m. Capital expenditure, which IRC said was weighted to the first half of the year, was in line with the prior year at £0.8m. Finance costs increased by £0.2m to £0.4m as a result of a renegotiated banking agreement in 2009 and resultant change in interest rates from base rate plus 1.5% to LIBOR plus 3.5% reported last year. IRC’s net debt was reduced by £1.4m since June 2009 to £15.0m, with £3.5m of headroom available on the facility. Also in the period the group successfully refinanced the loan facility which resulted in the facility becoming non-amortising - under the previous facility amortisation payments totalling £2.0m and £2.5m were due in 2010 and 2011 respectively). The term of the facility has also been extended 12 months to January 2013. Robert Breare, chairman of IRC, said: “Traditionally the group's earnings have been heavily weighted towards the second half of the year and 2010 will be no exception. The board believes trading conditions across the period will be at least in line with those experienced in 2009. This belief is supported by recent revenue trends and the board's confidence that the planned increases in minimum wage can be absorbed. “The board remains confident in both the group's brands and business models and is focused on finding the best way forward for the group given current funding constraints on expansion capital.”