Green in the red

Retail entrepreneur Sir Philip Green will once again struggle by without paying himself a dividend this year, after his Arcadia Group became the latest victim of the UK summer weather.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

Arcadia, which includes the Topshop, Burton and Evans brands, suffered a slight drop in pre-tax profits after what Green described as ‘one of the worst ‘non summers’ in many years’.

However, it still managed to do a lot better than many of its rivals, thanks partly to the success of ranges like the collection designed by Kate Moss. Total sales were up by 5.2%, while like-for-like figures also increased slightly – ‘a very creditable performance’, according to Green.

The Arcadia boss has decided to manage without a dividend for the second year in a row – though after paying out a whopping £1.2bn dividend the previous year, we suspect he probably still has a few euros in the bank.

Green has also had some strong words for the taxman on Thursday – though the billionaire wasn’t talking about his own tax bill, you understand. On BBC Radio he criticised the abolition of taper relief on capital gains tax, and its likely effect on small business owners. He argued that there should be an exemption for start-up companies worth up to £1m, to give entrepreneurs more of an incentive ‘to bet their own house’.

The sentiment is admirable, though given that Green is domiciled in Monaco for tax purposes (where his wife is resident) and therefore pays no tax at all, Alastair Darling might be forgiven for raising those famous eyebrows at any criticism of the current regime.

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