Jamie Oliver paid himself £5.2 million months before restaurant empire collapse - News48 (BST)

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Jamie Oliver paid himself £5.2 million months before restaurant empire collapse


Jamie Oliver paid himself £5.2 million last year – months before his empire collapse which led to the loss of 1,000 jobs. All but three of the 44-year-old’s 25 restaurants in the UK went into administration in May, with 1,000 staff members being left out of work and creditors facing an £83 million loss. However, the chef was paid £5.2 million from the Jamie Oliver Group – down from £8.6 million dividend paid to Oliver in 2017. Oliver’s food and media empire increased sales in the year ending December 2018 to £43.5m – however, pretax profits almost halved to £7.8m.

All but three of Jamie’s UK restaurants have closed (Picture: REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

This is largely credited to a £9.8m one-off payment related to his restaurants. Chief executive of Jamie Oliver Holdings – which includes the chef’s publishing, licensing, TV and restaurant businesses – Paul Hunt said that the company had ‘delivered a resilient set of results’, with profits before the £9.8m charge increasing by 4.9%. Hunt added that Oliver’s portfolio ‘allowed the group to weather the challenges of 2018’. In 2018, Jamie picked up a £5 million contract with Shell to create a food range, as well as signing a deal with Tesco.

Jamie has five kids with wife Jools (Picture: Getty)

However, in May this year, KPMG were appointed as administrators, with 22 of Jamie’s Italian restaurants, Barbecoa and Fifteen closing. The dad-of-five described the experience of his chain’s collapse as: ‘Very painful, very very painful. This is the part of my life that I’ve been building up for 20 years. ‘Obviously it’s been tough but, you know, no regrets really. I did everything I could. I created something really magic, did amazing things, employed loads of people, bought only through food systems that were really positive.

‘We made it, we whooped everyone’s ass, and then, you know. I just couldn’t make it last sustainably, and there’s a million reasons, that I’ve said a million times, as to what our challenge was, but I lost this time. ‘What happened to me was not unique – it’s been happening to small, medium and some large businesses all over the country.’ At the time of the breakdown of his restaurant empire, Jamie sent an email to staff notifying them of the venues being put into administration, and promised that everyone’s salary would be paid to date. Jamie, who shot to fame as The Naked Chef, has five children with wife Jools – Poppy, 17, Daisy, 16, Petal, 10, Buddy, nine, and three-year-old River.

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