By Calvin Palmer
TV chef Gordon Ramsay, famed for his use of expletives, probably mouthed a few more as he learned that the profits of his restaurant company fell by almost 90 percent.
The latest accounts for Gordon Ramsay Holdings, filed at Companies House, show profits fell from £3.05 million ($4.99 million) to £383,000 ($627,135) as turnover dropped by 14 percent from £41.59 million ($68.14 million) to £35.6 million ($58.3 million).
Net debt at the group jumped from £4 million ($6.5 million )to £9.5 million ($15.6 million), sending its interest payments soaring from almost £280,000 ($458,833) to £545,000 ($892,610).
Ramsay and his father-in-law Chris Hutcheson, who is also his business partner, put £5 million ($8.2 million) of their own money into the business in an attempt to avoid it going into administration.
The company also hived off its operations in Paris, Los Angeles and Prague, reducing the number of covers in other restaurants and sacking a quarter of the staff at their London head office.
Ramsay earns up to £10 million ($16.4 million) a year from his TV programs, books and live shows.
The group’s rapid expansion – it opened 10 new restaurants in 10 months – is being blamed for the poor results.
Ramsay admitted earlier this year that he had considered selling his £6 million ($9.8 million) home in Wandsworth, London, adding: “ambition overtook me, we thought we could do anything, that we could not fail”.
“It’s been very painful. It’s taken several million pounds of my own money but I’m still standing,” Ramsay said.
As well as the slump in profits, Gordon Ramsay Holdings had to deal with an unpaid backlog of VAT, corporation tax and PAYE, which totaled almost £8 million ($13.1 million), a sum only being repaid this month.
The celebrity chef saw four of his London restaurants close between December 2007 and January 2009 – the Savoy Grill, the Connaught, Petrus and La Noisette. Both the Savoy Grill and Petrus are due to reopen however while profits this year have been described as “robust”.