May 15, 2018 / 4:08 PM / 10 months ago

Profits slump at Philip Green's Arcadia

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - British retail tycoon Philip Green’s Topshop-to-Dorothy Perkins Arcadia fashion business on Tuesday reported a 42 percent slump in full-year profit, blaming intense UK competition.

Underlying operating profit at Green’s Taveta Investments Limited, the holding company that owns Arcadia, fell to 124.1 million pounds ($167.6 million) in the year to August 26 2017, from 215.2 million pounds in the previous year, on sales down 5.6 percent to 1.91 billion pounds.

Arcadia runs Topshop, Topman, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Burton and Outfit.

Green’s reputation was damaged after he was blamed by British lawmakers in 2016 for the demise of the BHS department store chain. He owned BHS for 15 years before he sold the loss-making retailer to Dominic Chappell, a serial bankrupt with no retail experience, for one pound in 2015.

In February last year Green paid 363 million pounds to plug a hole in BHS’s pension schemes. However, some lawmakers still want Green to be stripped of his knighthood, awarded in 2006 for services to retail.

“The retail environment remains highly competitive and challenging,” said Taveta chief executive Ian Grabiner.

“Whilst we have found headline sales and profits disappointing, we remain a strongly cash generative business and had a positive net cash balance at the year end of 157.2 million pounds.” ($1 = 0.7404 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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