Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's high-street restaurant chain Jamie's Italian saw profits soar by 181% in 2010 as the company continued to expand its rustic Italian food offer across Britain.
Jamie's Italian, which was launched in 2008, reported pre-tax profits of £4.65m in the 12 months to 2 January 2011, with turnover up 145% to £47.62m.
The company opened 10 new restaurants during the year, including sites in Glasgow, Leeds and London's Covent Garden, as well as its first overseas franchised restaurant in Dubai.
Jamie's Italian has continued its rapid expansion programme and opened three restaurants in the first half of 2011 - in Nottingham, Bristol and Portsmouth - with a further eight in the pipeline, bringing its portfolio to 25 outlets by the end of the year.
Last month, Oliver announced plans to launch a new high-street restaurant chain called Union Jack. Details on the new chain and exactly what type of food it will offer have not been revealed as work is still in the planning stages.
Meanwhile, Jamie Oliver Holdings, which encompasses the celebrity chef's books and TV programmes, reported a rise in profits of £8m, up 40% from £5.7m in 2010. Turnover increased 41% to £25.7m from £18.3m the previous year.
Oliver's cookbook, Jamie's 30-Minute Meals, last December became the fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time. He will release his 13th book, Jamie's Great Britain, celebrating the UK's diverse food culture, in September, which will tie in with a new Channel 4 series.
John Jackson, CEO of the Jamie Oliver Group of Companies, said: "Both businesses performed well in difficult trading conditions. The challenge ahead is to ensure that we continue to deliver outstanding products and services, with a real point of difference that enhances the relationship we have with the consumer."
By Kerstin Kühn
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