Philip Green’s Topshop and Topman fashion chains saw losses widen to more than half-a-billion pounds last year after sales tumbled.
The high street brands reported pre-tax losses of £505.1 million (€564.6 million) for the year to September 2018, according to the latest Companies House filings.
This came against losses of £3.9 million (€4.36 million) the previous year and followed a 9% drop in sales to £847 million (€947 million).
The figures show bottom line losses grew to £498.5 million (€557.3 million) from £15.6 million (€17.44 million) a year ago.
It marks the latest sign of trading woes for Philip’s Arcadia retail empire, after figures for its holding company Taveta Investments showed a loss of £177.3 million (€198.2 million for the year to September 2018.
There has been mounting speculation over the future of Arcadia, after it was reported that chief executive Ian Grabiner is laying the groundwork for a break-up of the brand portfolio, which also includes Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Evans.
Topshop and Topman’s results were hit by £488.8 million (€546.5 million) in charges, including for onerous shop leases on loss-making stores and write downs on the value of assets, according to the figures.
It also revealed a sharp fall in staff numbers, down 12% to 3,853. Once the star performer in Philip’s retail empire, the Topshop and Topman chains are being overhauled as part of a wider turnaround plan to shut shops and slash rents.
A series of Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) were proposed in May as part of a wider three-year recovery plan.
Landlords eventually voted through the plans in June, giving the green light to close 23 stores and slash rents on many more, though Philip and his wife were forced to offer some concessions funded from their own pockets to get approval for the measures.
Other elements of the recovery plan included pushing its US operations into administration and shuttering an additional 25 Evans and Miss Selfridge stores.
Arcadia recently revealed a deal with online retailer Shop Direct to list Topshop and Topman brands for the first time, following other recent similar deals for sister brands with Next, Asos and Very.
- Press Association