Individual Restaurant Company (IRC), the operator of Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill brands, has unveiled a pre-tax profit before non-trading costs of £1.3m, down from £1.8m the year before. Revealing its preliminary results for the 12 months to 31 December 2009 the group, which last year raised £2.6m in an equity fundraising exercise, said revenues had increased by 1.7% to £53.3m, up from £52m for the year before. Group ebitda slipped to £5m, down from £5.3m, as average ebitda per restaurant before central costs dropped to £266,000. Describing its performance as robust, IRC, which is led by chief executive Steven Walker, revealed it had implemented cost savings of £2.1m, including central cost savings of £400,000 and it had protected gross margins for the year, which were in line with the year before, by eschewing en-masse discounting. IRC said that the non-trading costs that impacted its pre-tax profits totalled £2.2m, including a £1.2m charge for onerous lease provisions and business restructuring costs of £900,000. The company has increased its provision for the former Zinc site in Birmingham to £400,000, which was closed in 2007, because it had proved difficult to find a buyer for the site in the current market. The group, which operates 22 Piccolino restaurants and 11 Restaurant Bar & Grill sites, reduced its net debt in the year by £3.4m to £12.4m, which was helped by the equity fundraising and, it said, strong cash flows. Gearing was 29% down from 38% and its interest costs of £700,000 were covered by ebitda generated of almost eight times. IRC said that as a multiple of ebitda the year-end net debt was just below 2.5 times compared with three times in 2008. The available headroom on the banking facility was £6.1m compared with £2.7m in 2008. Having previously negotiated the cancellation of a planned facility amortisation of £1m, which was scheduled for December, the company said it had held further discussions with its banks. It said the loan was now non-amortising, cancelling amortisation payments of £2m and £2.5m due this year and next, and it had been extended by one year to January 2013. Walker, IRC’s chief executive said: “The group’s performance is all the more creditable in that we intentionally refrained from mass discounting evident elsewhere across our industry. Whilst still offering value for money to our customers, this has served to protect margins and maintain the brand value of our premium casual dining concepts. “The measures we have taken to refinance the business over recent months leave us well placed to progress with our expansion plans when the time is right. We have had an encouraging start to trading in the initial weeks of the year and remain confident of the future prospects for the group.” IRC has signed leases on four sites in Aberdeen, Dorking, Knutsford and in the City but said the quantum and timing of these openings would be decided by trading performance.