Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Friday, 1 May 2009 12:12 UK

Jobs lost as pizza outlets shut

Five outlets are closing in Northern Ireland
Five outlets are closing in Northern Ireland

One hundred and thirty jobs will be lost with the closure of five Pizza Hut outlets across Northern Ireland.

The franchisee, Restaurant Management Services Ltd, which operates 14 restaurants, has gone into administration.

Three outlets in Belfast are closing - Yorkgate, Connswater and Dublin Road - as well as others in Coleraine and Dungannon.

The administrator said there was no option but to close restaurants.

David McClean of Moore Stephens Chartered Accounts in Belfast has been appointed as the administrator.

He said: "The franchises run by Restaurant Management Services have been operating in an increasingly competitive market for some time and the company's financial situation has been exacerbated by the current economic downturn, resulting in the decision to enter administration.

"I have assessed the current trading position of outlets run by Restaurant Management Services Ltd and it is with regret that I have concluded that there is no option other than to close five of the 14 immediately."

Twenty-five jobs are going at the Dublin Road, Belfast and in Coleraine, 24 are going at Connswater whilst 28 are going at both the Dungannon and Yorkgate outlets.

Mr McClean said arrangements had been made to enable four other outlets to remain open.

These are at Lisburn, Carrickfergus, Ballymena and Glengormley and together they employ about 120 people.

The administrator said he would be working closely with the company to keep the other five outlets open - where 160 people work - while their trading position is urgently assessed.

These are at the Odyssey, Castlecourt and Victoria Square in Belfast, and in Carryduff and Bangor.

A spokesperson for Pizza Hut said the case related to a franchisee in Northern Ireland.

"We are very disappointed that five of his restaurants are closing and hope that his cooperation with the administrators will safeguard the majority of jobs," said the spokesperson.

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