FRANKIE & Benny's owner The Restaurant Group has lifted half-year profits even though sales dipped during the World Cup.

The firm, which owns 450 restaurants and pubs, said its pre-tax profits jumped 12.3 per cent to £33.7 million over the 26 weeks to June 29 as it opened new sites and catered for more diners at existing outlets.

Sales rose 10 per cent to £308 million.

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The firm, which includes Chiquito and Coast to Coast, added that like-for-like sales lifted 2.5 per cent over the period, with its only negative month coming in June.