Harry Ramsden’s, the fish-and-chip shop chain, has swung to a £5m loss after closing a chunk of its restaurant estate.
The company was hit with £2.4m charge over its decision to exit six sites owned by the company and a further three franchise stores.
The business recorded a pre-tax loss of £4.9m for the year to the end of December 2017, down from a £1.4m profit for the year before.
Harry Ramsden’s, which began 90 years ago in West Yorkshire, shut the sites because they were “not viable in the longer term”.
Turnover also slipped 9pc to £15m over the period as it grappled with tougher trading conditions. Despite cutting back on sites, the company said it had struck a “positive franchise relationship” with motorway services business Welcome Break, which is home to 19 Harry Ramsden’s restaurants.
Harry Ramsden’s has 38 owned and franchised restaurants across the country employing about 400 staff. The update comes as conditions remain tough for the hospitality industry amid rising costs linked to the national living wage, the apprenticeship levy and higher business rates.
A string of well-known restaurants have been forced to embark on a controversial restructuring process known as a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in order to stay afloat.
Carluccio’s, Prezzo, Byron and Jamie’s Italian have all used CVAs to shore up their financial position.
A spokesman for Harry Ramsden’s said it was pleased with its improved trading performance and remains confident about future opportunities.