Prezzo, the owner of the eponymous Italian chain of restaurants and Mexican format Chimichanga, has reported a fall in pre-tax profit to £2.9m for the half year to 29 June 2008, down from £4.7m the previous year. The company said that the first half of 2008 had provided some of the most challenging trading conditions since it was founded in 2000, and as a result of the uncertain economic climate it had decided to slow its rollout programme. The group posted a 27.3% increase in revenue to £41.4m, up from £32.5m in 2007 and adjusted ebitda was £7.1m compared to £6.1m the previous year. Prezzo, which currently has 138 restaurants trading, said that it planned to open a further three sites before the end of the year. Jonathan Kaye, chief executive of Prezzo, said that the company had entered an extended period of more challenging trading conditions and that the pressure on margins was unlikely to be alleviated in the short-term. He said that despite further cost challenges in 2009, including changes to minimum wage legislation and rises in utility bills, the group was well positioned to cope with these more challenging conditions and the board expected to deliver a satisfactory outcome for the current year. Kaye said: “I am pleased to report a robust set of results in spite of ongoing challenging trading conditions. New openings are performing well and whilst further cost challenges lie ahead, we remain confident of a satisfactory outcome for the current year.” The company said that it was still in ongoing talks about taking the business private with a potential management buyout team currently in negotiations over funding.