Surely the furlough scheme wasn’t intended for corporate snouts to be first at the public trough? Especially those who trade for 11 years, never make a profit, and never pay tax? Well, meet the Beckhams!
In November 2019 it was reported that David and Victoria Beckham’s business empire has paid out £38m to its owners despite a near 90% fall in profits prompted by difficulties at the former Spice Girl’s fashion label.
The former England footballer, the fashion “entrepreneur” and their business partner Simon Fuller paid themselves dividends of £21.5m (£16.7m) and £10.3m in May last year, on top of £11.1m in 2018, according to accounts for Beckham Brand Holdings (BBH) published at Companies House.
The payouts were made despite a plunge in pre-tax profits to just £1.7m in the year to 31 December 2018 after turnover fell by 18% to £45.8m. Profits were hit by widening losses at Victoria Beckham’s fashion label and the sale of a 51% stake in Seven Global, which manages some of her husband’s corporate partnerships.
And Victoria Beckham Ltd saw earnings of 35.1 million pounds for the year ending 2018, a growing loss of 16 percent on 2017. Operating losses widened even further by 18 percent to 11.7 million pounds, and the business is yet to have a profitable year in its 11 years of operations.
The company, despite not having a tumultuous past, has seen a recent shift in management, strategy and ownership, most notably by selling a minority stake for a 30 million pound investment by Neo Investment Partners two years ago. An expansion into new categories, including a makeup range launched during the last London Fashion Week, preceded the appointment of a new CEO last month. Marie LeBlanc de Reynies replaced outgoing CEO Paolo Riva in October and Ralph Toledano, the former head of the Puig group’s fashion division and current president of the Fédération Française de la Couture, was appointed Chairman just six months ago. The foremost task of the new management team is to expedite the company to profitability. [Really!]
As Piers Morgan ranted “How nice it was at the weekend, with all the selfless acts, to hear Victoria Beckham is furloughing 30 staff of her failing business. Lost money year after year. Been bailed out by her famously rich husband David Beckham. Sorry, this furlough scheme was not for prima donna millionaires like you. Running a vanity project like her fashion business that makes no money”.
Spot on, Piers, sod paying tax from our pensions to fund these rich cash manipulators!