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Six Jamies Italian restaurants to close

Jamie Oliver Enterprises is to close six of Jamie's Italian restaurants after a challenging trading period following the Brexit referendum.

The Jamie’s Italian sites will close by the end of the first quarter of the year, and are in Aberdeen, Exeter, Cheltenham, Richmond, Tunbridge Wells and Ludgate Hill, near London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.

There are currently 42 Jamie’s Italian restaurants in the UK, and there are around 36 abroad, which are run under his name.

The closures will affect about 120 staff, and the company aims to offer them alternative jobs at other Jamie’s Italian outlets.

In 2015, Oliver’s group of companies, which also spans areas including TV production, his range of books and the FoodTube digital venture, increased its total revenues by 2% to £158m with pre-tax profits of £10.2m.

The largest contributor was Jamie’s Italian, where turnover rose by nearly 9% to £116.1m, although profits fell by 39% from £3.8m to £2.3m due to fees from a failed process to bring in private equity backing.