Dividends up £3.4m despite fall in profits at David Beckham Ventures Ltd after £1m Unicef donation
David Beckham is the most followed person on social media in the UK, according to DBVL. Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty
The Guardian- Rupert Neate Wealth correspondent
David and Victoria Beckham have paid themselves £14.5m – or nearly £40,000 for every day of the year – following the strong performance of the former footballer’s image rights sales.
The couple’s total dividends in 2019 were up £3.4m on the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House on Thursday. The 2019 accounts are the latest available, but they note that the couple also collected an additional £7m in interim dividend payments in 2020.
David Beckham Ventures Limited (DBVL), which manages his brand and partnerships with the likes of Adidas, Haig Club whisky and the Sands hotel group, reported a £600,000 increase in annual revenue to £16.2m.
Over the course of the year DBVL gave £1m to Unicef, the UN agency responsible for providing humanitarian support to children across the world, for which he is a goodwill ambassador. The donation helped knock the company’s pre-tax profits down from £14.8m in 2018 to £11.3m in 2019.
DBVL, which also includes David’s stake in Inter Miami CF, the Major League Soccer team he co-founded in 2018, is 100% owned bythe Beckhams after they bought out a 33% stake previously owned by the Pop Idol creator Simon Fuller for £38m in 2019.
Victoria Beckham’s eponymous luxury fashion label reported a £2.5m increase in sales to £38.3m in 2019, but it continued to lose money. Annual pre-tax losses of Victoria Beckham Holdings Limited (VBHL) increased to £16.6m in 2019, up from a £12.5m loss in 2018.
The company – which is owned by Beckham Brand Holdings, Fuller’s XIX Entertainment and the private equity firm NEO investment Partners – did not pay a dividend. “Directors continue to focus on taking the company to breakeven,” VBHL said in its filing to Companies House.
VBHL said sales were boosted in the last quarter of 2019 by the launch of the Victoria Beckham Beauty brand, and the flagship Dover Street store in London achieved double-digit revenue growth.
However, the company warned that the coronavirus pandemic had significantly impacted 2020 sales and the Dover Street store has been closed for large parts of the year. Still, online sales were up more than 20% in the UK, 36% in Europe and 44% in Australia.
Both companies credited their success to their founders’ presence on social media. Victoria Beckham’s 50 million followers were said to have driven 15% of traffic to the company’s website and accounted for 10% of revenue.
David Beckham is the most followed person on social media in the UK, according to the DBVL filing. He has 128 million followers across the world.