Individual Restaurant Company (IRC), the operator of the Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill concepts, has this morning reported trading in line with expectations. Ahead of today’s annual meeting with shareholders, the group said sales for the four months to 27 April were up 23%. This performance, which excluded the disposed Bank restaurant in London’s Aldwych and closed Zinc restaurant in Birmingham, was primarily driven by six new site openings. It opened four Piccolino restaurants – in Ilkley, Sheffield, West Didsbury and London’s Exchange Square – and two Restaurant Bar & Grills in Liverpool and Tunbridge Wells. IRC, which is led by chief executive Steven Walker, said it was confident of achieving its target of seven new openings. Two Piccolino sites were currently under construction, in Birmingham and York, and it had secured a further Piccolino site in Bristol that would open in the second half. It said its future pipeline remained strong.