Italian restaurant and deli chain Carluccio’s announced last week that turnover for the 52 weeks ended 24 September 2006 was 24% ahead compared to last year. Profit before taxation for the same period is expected to be slightly ahead of the board’s expectations.

The company achieved its target of five new openings in the 2006 financial year, bringing the total number of stores open and trading to 27.

Its bakery range includes ciappe Ligurian bread, bruschettine al rosmarino, sandoliva olive grissini and baci di dama - traditional Piedmont biscuit kisses.

Locations opened during the year were: Westbourne Corner, Oxford Castle, Brighton, Chiswick and Richmond. The company is currently in the process of fitting out a new store Brunswick, London, and has secured a site in Walton-on-Thames.

Carluccio’s gave the update ahead of the announcement of its preliminary results.