Jamie Oliver Holdings saw its profits soar 82% to nearly £7m last year, but the chef's Jamie's Italian restaurant chain made a loss due to its rapid expansion.
The company is to report an increase in pre-tax profit from £3.7m fto £6.8m in figures to be presented to Companies House later this month, as a result of international sales of Oliver's television programmes.
Jamie's Italian, the casual dining chain spearheaded by Oliver, made a loss of £924,341 in 2008. The company said that the loss was due to the costs of opening three new
restaurants in Bath, Kingston and Oxford, as the holding company had made a loan of £1.5m to Jamie's Italian.
The group said that all of the three newly opened Jamie's Italian sites were trading ahead of expectations and two new restaurants were scheduled to launch in London's Canary Wharf and in Covent Garden next year.
In the group accounts, John Jackson, the group's chief executive, said that turnover at the company increased by 18% during 2008 and the group said that it believed this trend would continue. Jackson said: "Overall the profitability of the group was enhanced by a reduction of operating expenses by 14% and going forward the directors believe that there will not be any significant increase in overheads.
"The directors believe that with strong contractual income, another Jamie Oliver book in September 2009 and a new TV contract with Channel 4 that the group is set for another satisfactory year ahead."