The 28-strong restaurant group, which has since opened another three restaurants - in Cambridge, Kingston and Aberdeen - said the strong results further consolidated its position as a market leader in casual Latin American dining and together with £15.7m of funding from Royal Bank of Scotland meant it could confidently say it was on-track to reach 40 sites by 2015.
Chief executive Eren Ali said: "This is an excellent trading performance against the backdrop of an ongoing challenging economic climate and we remain encouraged by the ongoing appeal of our brand offering in a variety of trading formats and geographic locations.
“We have continued to expand our estate nationwide and extend our geographic footprint across the UK, most notably through our recent debut in Scotland with the opening of our Aberdeen restaurant last month. Our new openings are trading well under the refreshed Las Iguanas format and will be a driver of profit in the current year."
The restaurant group, which also relies on a strong drinks offering, said the outlook for the rest of 2012 and the Christmas period was also looking strong with like-for-like sales up 1.6 per cent for the 35 weeks to the end of November and Christmas and New Year bookings seeing double digit growth on those for 2011.
“The current year’s performance is encouraging and we are confident of a good Christmas trading period over the weeks ahead," said Ali. "This, together with an excellent pipeline of new sites, leaves Las Iguanas well positioned to deliver another period of further progress."
Las Iguanas, which serves its core market of 24 to 35-year-olds with a range of dishes from across Latin America, such as burritos, chimichangas and the lesser-known regional specialities like Ximxim and feijoda de vaca, introduced a 'new look' restaurant format at its Stratford site earlier this year, which it transferred to Cambridge and Aberdeen.
The restaurant group is set to open restaurants in Plymouth and Wembley early 2013 with others set to follow later in the year.