Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant group suffered a loss of £3.8 m

Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant group has swung to a multimillion pound loss as it plans to shut one of its flagship venues, Maze in London’s Mayfair, and open five new restaurants overseas.

Kavalake, the holding company for the group – which includes some of London’s most famous restaurants such as Petrus, Savoy Grill, Maze and Bread Street Kitchen – reported a pre-tax loss of £3.8m in the year to the end of August 2017.

The business was hit by a £1.75m legal bill for costs in a long-running legal dispute with Rowan Seibel, Ramsay’s former business partner in the Fat Cow, the Los Angeles restaurant that was shut in 2014.

The group, which has only made a profit in one year since 2012, reported a small dip of 1% in revenues to £51.4m.

Revenues were hit by the overhaul and five-month closure of Plane Food, Ramsay’s venture at Heathrow’s terminal 5, which contributed to revenue from its UK restaurant operation falling from £48.3m to £45.9m.

Revenue from the group’s international operations, which has licence agreements for 18 restaurants around the world, rose 52% year on year to £5.4m.

The company said it continues to be on the expansion trail, with five new venues this year, including a Bread Street Kitchen in Sanya, China, and four other restaurants in North America, including a new concept in Las Vegas called Hell’s Kitchen, which opened in January.

“A number of new international contracts are being actively negotiated, however, contracts have yet to be signed,” the group said. “The global spread of our restaurants means the business is not reliant upon one location and is therefore well placed to adapt and adjust to softer trading conditions.”

Employee numbers grew by 7% from 766 to 820, with restaurant staff numbers rising from 709 to 749. The wage bill rose from £16.8m to £17.4m.

The group, which holds an interest in 14 London-based restaurants, is to shut one of its most high-profile outlets, Maze, which is in the London Marriott hotel in Grosvenor Square, next January after 14 years.

It will be replaced with a concept restaurant launching next year under a new 10-year lease.

“The variety and choice of location throughout London helps to minimise any risk of dependency on one brand or economic area,” the group said.