CITY WHISPERS: Bean counters discover mates’ rates at Superdry
An unusual deal has appeared in the latest set of accounts from clothing brand Superdry.
His boss Julian Dunkerton’s personal pension fund is apparently charging half the market rate to rent the properties at his Cheltenham headquarters that it rents to the fashion retailer he founded.
The practice, which has been going on for more than a decade, came to light only after a new auditor, RSM, replaced Deloitte last year.
Mate rates: An unusual deal has appeared in clothing brand Superdry’s latest set of accounts
This triggered a £1m provision on the company’s balance sheet, something Superdry could well do without as it deals with an economic slowdown that is hitting retailers.
The revelation may also help explain why the company’s shares were briefly suspended from trading late last month when it said it was still working with RSM on the “final technical points” of the audit of its full-year results. .
It’s amazing what a new set of bean counters can unearth.
BIIB has not yet published accounts
The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, in which the UK taxpayer has a £2.5bn stake, prides itself on maintaining the highest standards of multilateral governance.
Which is why it is strange that the lender has not yet published its latest set of accounts on its website.
Better get to work as the bank’s more than 100 members are due to descend on the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh for their annual meeting this week.
Rejection of Liz Truss’s PR blitz
Liz Truss attempted to return to the political spotlight last week, setting out a series of policy ideas that (unsurprisingly) included tax cuts, while insisting that her mini-Budget would have saved the Treasury £35.5bn if it had not been seen forced to resign.
But the former prime minister’s public relations blitz is attracting reactions from some unexpected quarters.
In a tweet about the current regime, Truss claimed that “companies like Astra Zeneca have moved due to high corporation tax.”
But a source at the pharmaceutical giant was quick to point out to Whispers that not only was this not true (it is still based in Cambridge), but Truss’ team had not bothered to check whether the company’s name includes a space (not ‘t). Talk about rewriting history!
Darktrace boss takes pay cut
It’s not every day a boss takes a £10m pay cut. So take a bow to Poppy Gustafsson, CEO of cybersecurity company Darktrace.
Accounts show he took home £1.7m, up from £11.3m last year.
Finance chief Catherine Graham also saw her salary fall by almost £8m to £769,000. The reason? One-time bonuses tied to Darktrace listing in 2021.
Unfortunately, investors did not enjoy such generosity. Darktrace shares fell below their IPO price of £2.50 this year, although they have since risen to £4.20.
“Our CEO’s compensation remains well below market value,” says one employee unconvincingly.
Contributor: Patrick Tooher