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Harrods' Qatari Owners Pay £125M Dividend, Despite Profits Fall

London Retail
Harrods in the sun

Harrods, the iconic Knightsbridge department store, has reported a small drop in profits and sales, but a rise in turnover, as the Brexit crisis unsettles even the luxury retail sector.

The dip in operating profits from £202M, down 7% compared to £218M in 2017/18, did not deter owner Qatar Holding from paying itself a £125M dividend.

Profit after tax was down 2.9% to £171.6M. Harrods blamed a one-week reduction in the reporting year and increased costs.

Turnover was at a standstill, as were gross sales. Turnover rose by 1% to £868.6M, up from £862.5M in 2017/2018 on the back of a 1% fall in gross sales of £2.1B in the year to 2 February 2019.

The financial statement suggested Harrods values its Brompton Road store at £1.24B, as they have for several years. A substantial investment in the property, including a makeover for its 90K SF beauty hall, has helped maintain sales, Retail Gazette reports.

Qatar Holding is the strategic investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority, which is the ultimate controlling party.