Published: 09:30, 06 January 2017
| Updated: 09:51, 06 January 2017
Jamie Oliver will close six of his restaurants, blaming post Brexit vote pressures.
The celebrity chef, who has a net worth of £240 million, plans to sell the sites within the next three months, including his Jamie’s Italian in Tunbridge Wells.
His Jamie’s Italian in Bluewater is not affected. The other restaurants closing are in Aberdeen, Cheltenham, Exeter, Ludgate and Richmond.
About 120 staff will be affected by the closures but bosses said the majority will be offered jobs at other sites within the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group.
Latest accounts for Jamie’s Italian Limited show turnover increased 9% to £116 million in 2015, although pre-tax profits slipped 38% to £2.4 million.
Meanwhile, the group of companies under Jamie Oliver Holdings, which covers his books and TV work, show revenues fell by a fifth to £31.9 million in 2015, although it made a pre-tax profit of £687,000 compared to a loss of £11.3 million a year earlier.
Restaurant group chief executive Simon Blagden said the overall business remains in “very good shape” having finished last year with like-for-like sales growth and an increase in covers.
However, he said restaurants with the capacity to serve 3,000 covers a week need to be “sustainable”.
The closures represent less than 5% of the group’s total turnover.
Mr Blagden said: “As every restaurant owner knows, this is a tough market and, post-Brexit, the pressures and unknowns have made it even harder.”
He said the group plans to launch another 22 Jamie’s Italian restaurants internationally, plus another two in the UK this year, and to develop its newly-acquired Australian restaurants.
More by this authorChris Price