La Tasca, the casual dining chain led by Simon Wilkinson, has reported that post the completion of its Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) at the end of September , it has traded ahead of expectations, beating its October forecast for sales and EBITDA. The group, which closed 16 sites through the CVA process leaving it with a 46-strong estate in the UK, reported a 5% increase in like-for-like sales for the last two weeks combined to reflect half-term comparisons. It is also 15,000 covers up on the same point last year for Christmas Bookings The company, which is looking at new investment options, said it was set for its next stage of growth that will see it invest in the business, launch the second stage of its brand redevelopment, look to convert some sites to an updated version of its wine bar format La Vina and look to enter new international territories. Wilkinson said: “The hard work and radical change programme that has happened over the last 18 months is now starting to show traction which is just reward for the efforts put in by everyone within the company. The quality of food has been a massive driver in changing the guests preconceived perception of the brand and it is encouraging to see lapsed guests returning again. Post Christmas we look forward to stage two of the brand development which will start in the New Year with the redesign of the Trafford Centre and the first La Tasca to La Vina Stage Two conversion trial.” Earlier this year, the group appointed Ellie Frost, formerly development director at Jamie's Italian, to help develop its international growth strategy. It is currently in advanced talks with prospective franchisees in regards to three territories, the Middle East, the Far East and Europe, with India and Dubai understood to be possible first destinations.