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£5.2 Million Payout Says Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant Collapse Didn’t Hurt Jamie Oliver

Revenue rose but profits fell after the restaurant group received a bailout in 2018

Live Cooking with Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver
Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images

The TV chef and cookbook author, Jamie Oliver, who this year oversaw the almost complete collapse of his U.K. restaurant group, has received a £5.2 million dividend from his company. As reported by the Guardian, that figure is down from the £8.6 million he received the year previous.

It comes as Jamie Oliver Holdings announced its financial results to the year ending December 2018, in which the company’s pre-tax revenues rose by 4.9 percent to £17.8 million. Pre-tax profits, though, fell by almost 50 percent to £7.8 million.

A statement from the company today said that profits were “impacted by exceptional costs of £9.9m related to the restaurant group” — referring to the attempted rescue by Oliver and his parent company in 2018 before the collapse of his restaurant group in May this year. The restaurant arm of the business had long been a parasitic inconvenience to an otherwise profitable organisation.

Despite the fate of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, which resulted in the closure of 22 restaurants — including all Jamie’s Italian, Barbecoa, and Fifteen in London — and cost 1,000 jobs, the TV chef’s media interests, cookbooks, and licensing agreements remain in rude health.

Paul Hunt, CEO of Jamie Oliver Holdings said in a statement: “The strength of the Jamie Oliver portfolio allowed the Group to weather the challenges of 2018 meaning that we were able to deliver a resilient set of results and a 4.9% increase in pre‐exceptional [sales].”

Following Oliver’s pledge to transform his company in an “ethical B corp” — giving equal weight to people, the planet, and profit — in August, Hunt added: “We are a commercial business with social purpose running through everything we do. We have emerged from the past six months with complete clarity around our vision and values, as well as a renewed focus on what we want to achieve in the coming years.”

Internationally, the chef’s franchising agreements continue to bear fruit. Among the success stories of the last financial year were the opening of 12 new restaurants, three of which were in new markets. The total number of Jamie Oliver franchised restaurants now stands at 62.

In the past 12 months, Oliver also agreed, just mildly controversial, partnerships with Shell (worth £5 million) and Tesco, which according to the company, are both “focused on making healthier food options more accessible and affordable to shoppers and those on the go.”