The Restaurant Group this morning reported a 3% increase in like-for-like sales for the six months to 30 June, backed by its Leisure and Concessions businesses. Pre-tax profit at the group was up 21.8% at £11.9m, with Ebitda up 16.7% at £21.4m. Turnover rose by 10.8% to £130.8m. Underlying net debt before acquisitions was reduced by £2m. The group said that the second half had started well with like-for-like sales growth for the 37 weeks to 18 September of 3%. The company’s Leisure and Concessions business, which includes the Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito’s and the newly-acquired Blubeckers brands, now contributes over 80% of the group’s revenue. The group attributed the success of the brands in part to its lack of exposure to the high street. Alan Jackson, the company’s executive chairman, said: "Our Leisure businesses are well placed to benefit from an increasing demand from customers to eat out at restaurants offering good value for money, in locations which are readily accessible, have good car parking facilities and are safe, trouble-free environments." The group said that the integration of Blubeckers, which includes the Blubeckers and Edwinns brands, was progressing "extremely well" and that it was "more than delighted’ with the acquisition. The business is expected to be fully integrated by the end of the year. Both brands were said to be trading strongly, with the Blubeckers brand set to be first in line for expansion. The Concessions business saw first half turnover grow by 26% and profits by 37%, with Ebitda and profit margins described as showing "good progress". Jackson said: "In each of our two key divisions, Leisure and Concessions, we occupy market leading positions with strong brands offering good value. We have an outstanding team which ensures that we consistently deliver the right product, in the right place at the right price." The group described conditions on the high street as "challenging", with profits at the group’s high street division, which incorporates Caffe Uno and Garfunkel’s, down 19%. Profits at Garfunkel’s were "just ahead" of the previous year, but Caffe Uno was down in the face of increased competition. The group said that both businesses continued to be cash generative and it had no plans to pull back from the high street. The company said that it was expecting "the second half to be as difficult as the first, as an improving trend in Caffe Uno outside of London is likely to be offset by a difficult Central London market impacting both Caffe Uno and Garfunkel’s".