Cheap British billionaire pockets £25m dividend


(Bloomberg) – The billionaire owner of one of the UK’s fastest growing discount chains pocketed a multi-million pound dividend last year after the company reported sales topping the 3 billion pounds ($3.9 billion).

TJ Morris Ltd, the parent company of discount retailer Home Bargains, paid £25million to shareholders, with the vast majority going to founder Thomas Morris, according to a regulatory filing. Morris owns most of the shares in the company, while his brother Joseph owns a small minority, according to other documents.

An external spokeswoman for Home Bargains declined to comment.

Home Bargains has had a winning streak in recent years, selling groceries and household items under the slogan “Top Brands, Bottom Prices.” The Liverpool-based company, which has been able to stay open during the lockdowns as an essential retailer, has opened a slew of stores and is attracting cost-conscious consumers at a time when Britain faces the worst inflation in three decades .

Read more: UK inflation jumps more than expected to 7%, its highest level in 30 years

Sales jumped 20% to 3.3 billion pounds in the year to June 30 as additional stores were opened and existing stores improved their performance, the filing said. Operating profit soared 52% to 394 million pounds.

Thomas Morris founded Home Bargains over 40 years ago as a stand-alone store in Liverpool when he was just 21. Since then it has grown to include over 500 stores and employs over 22,000 people, while remaining privately owned. Morris plans to grow the business to 1,000 stores and more than 40,000 employees.

The entrepreneur is ranked 361 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a net worth of $6.9 billion.

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