Business

Sir Philip Green's Topshop reports £500m loss

A Topshop store Image copyright Getty Images

Sir Philip Green's Topshop and Topman fashion chains suffered an almost £500m net loss last year, amid tumbling sales and a raft of one-off charges.

Its latest accounts showed a £498.5m loss for 2018, a sharp rise on the £15.6m loss in 2017.

The results also showed that sales fell 9% to £846.7m.

The figures lay bare the extent of the problems at parent company Arcadia, which recently had to strike a rescue deal to keep its retail empire afloat.

Arcadia, which also owns other High Street names including Miss Selfridge and Burton, is shutting 48 stores and cutting rents at other outlets.

Last week, Arcadia reported a smaller loss of £169.2m for 2018, suggesting some parts of Sir Philip's empire are offsetting the poor performance of others.

However, despite the group's restructuring, Arcadia warned last week that it may need fresh funding to support its business.

Topshop was long the jewel in Arcadia's crown. It became a trendsetter and attracted celebrity endorsements during the 2000s.

Kate Moss has twice worked with Sir Philip on Topshop lines, while Cara Delevingne, the model-turned-actress, became the face of the brand in 2014.

But like other traditional retailers, it has struggled with the rise of more nimble fast fashion players.

In terms of sales, most of the damage last year occurred in Topshop's dominant UK business, where revenue fell by £83m.

However, it blamed most of its heavy losses on one-off charges, such as onerous shop leases on loss-making stores and writedowns on the value of assets. It also revealed a sharp fall in staff numbers, down 12% to 3,853.

There is increasing speculation that the Arcadia group could be broken up, in the hope new owners can resuscitate its brands.

Before agreeing the most recent shop closures, Arcadia had closed 200 of its UK stores over the preceding three years.

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