The Qatari owners of London’s Harrods department store have paid themselves £100 million ($157 million) following their first full year of ownership as the retailer’s profits hit a record high, media reports state.
The dividend was more than four times the £22.7 million ($35.6 million) paid the previous year and higher than the previous record of £74m set by former owner Mohamed al-Fayed’s family in 2002, according to account filings.
Sales-wise, it was a good year for Harrods, which saw a 15 percent increase in pre-tax profit and its revenue rise 11 percent to £651.7m in 2011, Arabian Business reports.
Qatar Holding attributed the retailer’s growing success to the millions of dollars the group has poured into it in significant upgrades since becoming owner in May 2010.
The Guardian reports:
This spend included its new watches emporium, which houses more than 35 brands, and the introduction of its “room of luxury” that showcases designer handbags and accessories at its Knightsbridge store.
The retailer also invested in a new head office in central London and a distribution centre near Reading. Harrods said it continued to “benefit from the value of the very significant spend on shop fittings invested by partner brands. The directors expect to continue with a high level of capital expenditure in 2012.”
In the coming years, Qatar also plans to open a series of Harrods-branded hotels around the world, starting in Kuala Lampur.
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