Innovations such as a vegan Greek menu kept sales and profits rising at The Fulham Shore PLC (LON:FUL) over the past year.
The restaurateur scaled back its opening programme at the start of the year but still opened a net three Franco Mancas to make a portfolio of 63 outlets comprising 47 pizza outlets and 16 The Real Greeks.
Fulham Shore expects to have 68 outlets in total by the end of the current financial year.
David Page, chairman, said that fewer openings had improved its cash position and it was now considering a dividend as trading this year has started well.
“Against the background of the capital lavished on the UK restaurant sector over the last five years, we at Fulham Shore have improved Headline EBITDA in every reporting period since our admission to AIM in 2014.
“We are pleased to report the demand for both of our businesses continues to grow.
"We will continue to open new restaurants in carefully chosen locations, conscious of the property pitfalls that others have fallen into.”
Sales in the year to March just ended rose by 17% to £64mln, with headline profits 5% better at £7.8mln.
Pre-tax profits jumped to £1.4mln from a loss of £100,000 as impairment and share-based costs fell.
Shares rose 6% to 12.25p.