The company behind the growing Milano chain of restaurants in Ireland has posted a pre-tax profit of €6.8m and paid a dividend of €12m to Pizza Express, its UK parent.
Accounts of Agenbite Ltd also show sales of €33.82m in the 18-month trading period to last Christmas.
The directors state that the company continued to grow by opening new restaurants, and that like-for-like sales had also increased.
They said that given the challenging trading environment experienced, the performance was satisfactory. And they said Milano will continue with a strategy of growth by increasing sales at its existing restaurants and by opening new outlets.
Milanos operates restaurants in Dublin, including in Dundrum, Dawson Street, Ranelagh, Haddington Road, Grand Canal, Temple Bar, Liffey Valley, Dun Laoghaire and Blanchardstown.
It also has outlets in Cork, Limerick, Galway, Ennis and Killarney. Profit was boosted by the reversal of a €619,000 property impairment, which helped more than offset a non-cash inventory write-down of €48,000.
The profit last year also takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €1.2m. The company’s rental or operating lease costs rose from €2.3m to €3.6m.
Staff numbers rose from 427 to 493 and staff costs went up from €7.6m to €12.73m. Cost of sales rose from €15m to €25.35m while administrative costs increased from €1.44m to €2.2m.
After paying corporation tax of €846,000, it had a net profit of €5.99m.
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