Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) has reported a return to profit, despite a challenging year which saw a sharp decline in turnover and the high-profile sacking of the company's former chief executive and Ramsay's father-in-law, Chris Hutcheson.
The company, which comprises the celebrity chef's multi-Michelin-starred London operations, including Maze and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, reported a significant rise in pre-tax profits for the 12 months to 31 August 2010, up to £2.05m from £567,000 in 2009. The increase was the result of a reduction in the number of staff, helping GRH to cut salary costs from £11m to £9.3m. Neither Ramsay nor Hutcheson drew salaries during the year.
Ramsay's restaurant empire comprises two separate companies, including Gordon Ramsay Holdings International, which covers restaurants opened since 2007 such as Foxtrot Oscar and Plane Food.
Accounts for Gordon Ramsay Holdings International reveal that losses, which totalled £8.3m in 2009, were cut to £1.85m in 2010, thanks in part to the £2.5m sale of the Michelin-starred Murano to chef-patron Agela Hartnett. The figures mean that the overall accounts for the celebrity chef's restaurant portfolio made a profit of £200,000, up from a loss of £7.7m last year.
At GRH turnover for the year to 31 August 2010 dropped 19% to £24.7m as diners tightened their belts. Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's in particular saw a 6.3% decline in footfall, while the Michelin-starred Maze and its sister restaurant Maze Grill experienced a 5% increase in covers but an overall reduction in average spend.
The accounts, which were filed at Companies House today, stated that despite challenging conditions for the hospitality industry, the group had performed robustly thanks to cost-cutting measures and structural changes.
However, looking ahead the company conceded that it could be financially hit by the high-profile falling out with Hutcheson, who was sacked last autumn after 13 years at its helm.
The accounts said: "On the 16th October Mr CF Hutcheson, director and CEO, was dismissed. Subsequently, but related to this dismissal, further senior managers were dismissed. Significant legal and professional costs have been and are likely to be incurred in the coming year to resolve the many issues that have subsequently arisen as a result."
Hutcheson was this month exposed to be living a double life, including fathering two children with another woman, which contributed to his sacking.
By Kerstin Kühn
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