Is Pizza Express in trouble? Debt woes for the restaurant chain explained

PIZZA Express is in danger of collapse if they don't sort out their debt.

But how much do they owe, and how much interest are they paying? Here's our lowdown…

What's the debt situation?

Pizza Express ended last year with £1,122.5million debt after a pre-tax loss of £55million, according to its latest annual report.

This is up by £45million compared to its £1,077.4million debt pile for the previous year.

Of its £1.1billion debt bill, £465million is due to be repaid by August 2021 and another £200million a year later.

The other £467million is a loan from the parent company that doesn't have to be repaid.

Last year a staggering £48million was spent on debt interest payments alone.

It means that 75p of every £8.45 Margherita they sell goes directly to paying off interest – and that's before salaries and rent costs.

How old is Pizza Express?

Pizza Express was launched in London in 1965 by restaurateur Peter Boizot and in 2014 it was bought by Hony Capital, a Chinese private equity group.

Today it has over 490 restaurants across the UK and Ireland, as well as over 100 sites worldwide. Use its store locator tool to find your nearest branch.

What other restaurant chains are in trouble?

It's a tough time for restaurant chains, with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver announcing in May that his restaurant empire had collapsed and all 23 of his Jamie's Italian restaurants would be closing.

Last year, Prezzo also confirmed it will close 94 branches affecting 1,000 staff members.

And Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) announced plans to close 17 brancheslate last year.

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