LONDON -- Pizza and pasta restaurant company Ask Central posted strong results for 2001.

According to a March 22 report at Citywire.com, pretax profit was up to £13.6 million ($19.4 million U.S.) on revenue of £78.9 million ($112.8 million U.S.) Earnings per share rose 28 percent to 11.2 p and the group has net cash of £900,000. A final dividend 0.375p makes 0.5p for the year, up 25 percent.

The company opened 24 new restaurants last year, boosting its total to 129, all in the United Kingdom. Currently, five more Ask outlets are under construction.

The company owns Ask, a sit-down pizza concept, Its Cafes and the fast-expanding Zizzi, which offers authentic wood-fired pizza ovens.

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