Vapiano, the Italian fresh casual dining group, is set to open a site in Ealing, M&C understands.

The group, which is led by Phil Sermon and saw turnover in the UK climb to £9.1m in the year to 31 December 2014, up from £7.5m, has taken a ground floor unit at the Bond Street entrance to Land Securities £100m Ealing Filmworks development.

The three-strong company has taken units 4 and 5 at the Bond Street entrance to the scheme, which is set for completion in 2018.

Sermon said that the group’s newest restaurant at Wardour Street, which opened 12 months ago, had been trading beyond expectations.

He told M&C: “Each site has been trading ahead of budget and seen year-on-year sales improvements.”

The group is currently negotiating on a number of other sites. Sermon told M&C: “We have sites in various stages in the pipeline: we are at heads of terms on a couple and have exchanged subject to license on one.”

He said two of these restaurants are expected to open following Manchester. Although he could not name locations, Sermon said they are looking at large provincial cities and conurbations.

“There’s scope for more in London and around the country as well.”

“The extension plan is growing our pipeline and our investments so far have given us grounds for optimism in the UK market place because the guests seem to like the Vapianao offer and what we are doing.”

The group will open its fourth site and first outside London in the UK later this summer in Manchester’s Corn Exchange development.

The company is investing £2m to develop the 10,000 sq ft restaurant, which will have a capacity for 350 guests. It will be spread over two floors and feature two bars and two lounge areas. The restaurant will employ 80 staff.

The company reported a pre-tax loss of £316.1k compared to a profit of £76.7k the year before. It said: “The loss recorded in 2014 is essentially negatively affected by the pre-opening costs of the third restaurant in Wardour Street, London. The turnover connected to the two old locations rose by 21.6%. This leads is to think that 2014 is just a contingent situation and we are confident that the year ended 31 December 2015 will again register a positive result.”

Gross profit margin declined to 41% in 2014 compared to 45% the year before.