Restaurant Group, which operates Garfunkel’s, Chiquito’s, Blubeckers and the Italian-American themed Frankie & Benny’s, yesterday shrugged off talk of a consumer spending downturn as first-half earnings beat market expectations. Financial Times. The Times

It reported 6.5% growth in like-for-like sales in the first half to 30 June.

The group opened 13 sites in the period following its strategy of the last two years to move its outlets away from the high street and into leisure parks and airport concessions where its blueprint can be less easily replicated.

Pretax profits rose from £10m to £17.1m