Las Iguanas, the 25-strong Latin American restaurant chain, said that despite a challenging year for the sector it continued to perform well, delivering growth in like-for-like sales for the 52 weeks to 26 March 2011. The group, which is owned by Bowmark Capital, saw turnover rise slightly from £29.75m to £29.9m during the year. Pre-tax losses widened on the back of disposal costs and a rise in interest rate payments from £1.9m to £2.4m. Operating profit stood at £1.24m, against £1.25m the previous year. During the year it accrued a loan interest cost of £2.5m, as it increased its investor loan to £27.8m. The company, which is led by Eren Ali, said that it had spent a lot of time during the year laying down the foundations for its continued expansion. It said it was “very satisfied” that it underlying performance remained strong. In March it sold its site in London’s Soho to Bistro du Vin, incurring a loss on disposal of £370,000. It opened sites in Reading, Liverpool and Cardiff’s Mermaid Quay, which it said was outperforming expectations. Since the year end it has opened new sites in Kingston, Newcastle, Sheffield Meadowhall and Westfield Stratford. It said it had “several strong sites” in the pipeline for 2012. The chain, which unveiled it next generation restaurant format earlier this year, is looking to ramp up its presence in the North East and Scotland. It is thought to be targeting locations in Edinburgh and York. It said: “Expectation is that performance will continue to improve as the business continues its expansion programme.” Bowmark has previously stated that it would like to expand Las Iguanas to 40 sites. It acquired, with management, 100% of the share capital of Las Iguanas for £27 million in 2007. Las Iguanas operated 14 sites at the time.