Harry Ramsden's fish empire plans to wipe out a £1.9 million loss announced today by opening 100 "Harry's huts" - creating 1,000 jobs.

The Guiseley-based firm admits it has made a mistake by opening too many large-scale restaurants and is changing tack and opening fish and chip kiosks around the world - going back to its roots.

Harry's Hut was the name given to the fish and chip shop the legendary Harry Ramsden opened in 1928 before he opened the world-famous restaurant at White Cross in Guiseley in 1933.

The firm has made pre-tax profits for the ten years since it floated on the Stock Exchange but last year it had to close its large restaurants in Melbourne, Australia, and Oxford.

Closure costs and record fish prices pushed it into the red and 40 people lost their jobs. But chairman John Barnes said today all of them found new jobs.

The firm still saw its sales rise to £9.4 million at its 26 remaining large restaurants and seven smaller ones. Now the firm plans to roll out a total of 100 kiosks with partners such as Granada and Compass.

Along with the Henry Higgins takeaway chain, acquired last September, the firm plans to increase the number of restaurants to 150 in the next five years.

John Barnes added: "By radically repositioning the company on to smaller outlets we will be best able to capitalise on our high brand awareness.

"We may have made a mistake with two of our large restaurants, but without them there would not have been as much awareness."

He said the company, which employs 3,500 staff worldwide compared to the 100 workers the firm employed ten years ago, had five per cent of the fish and chip market share in the UK and the new strategy would increase that figure to 15 per cent over five years.

Mr Barnes said negotiations were still taking place to have a Harry Ramsden's in the Millennium Dome. A decision would be made in the next few weeks.

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