Contract caterer Cucina has posted a pre-tax loss of £191,376 - down from the previous year's £1.15m profit - after writing off an inter-company loan used to fund operations at The Oxford Kitchen.
Cucina, which serves 50 secondary schools and academies, saw turnover increase from £14.87m to £16.36m in the year to 31 March 2018. Operating profit also grew overall from £1.21m to £1.43m.
However having written off a loan to Kitchen Restaurants and Bars Limited to fund two AA-rosette restaurant The Oxford Kitchen, the company posted exceptional administrative costs of £1.58m
The company wrote off the debt after deciding it was unlikely to receive payment. The kitchen is headed up by Paul Welburn, who maintained a Michelin star for five years as head chef at Rhodes W1 and featured on Great British Menu in 2014.
In the strategic report for the year ending 31 March 2018, the company noted: "Food inflation continues to impact the catering industry, but timely internal cost controls and strong menu development initiatives have helped us maintain our margins.
"Our focus on driving sales has meant that the majority of our existing academy contracts now deliver nil cost operations or financial returns to our school partners, ensuring sustainability for both Cucina and our clients at a time of unprecedented budget pressures."
It adds: "After careful review of the inter-company loan made to Kitchen Restaurants and Bars Limited to fund operations at the Oxford Kitchen, it was decided to write off the loan as repayment was unlikely. Cucina's Profit and Loss has reflected this decision as an exceptional item.
"In summary the directors are delighted to report an extremely positive, strong and stable performance".