River Island owners pay £250m dividend

Monday, 24 August 2009

Owners of the River Island fashion chain, the Lewis family, has paid a dividend of close to £250m viq its investment vehicle, despite the company suffering a near 30% drop in profits last year.

Worth close to £1bn, the family - headed by Bernard Lewis - is one of the UK's richest, having turned River Island into an international success story with 250 shops in 13 countries and £700m in sales. The Lewis Trust Group (LTG) paid a dividend of £243m in April, with the sum transferred to holding company LTG UK, in which the group's ultimate parent, the Cayman-Island based LFH International, is a shareholder.

At the time of the Companies House filing, no payments had been made to LFH's shareholders, the family members.

The Lewis Trust Group has grown, from its post-war retail roots, into one of the UK's largest privately owned companies. The group has worldwide interests in retailing, leisure, financial services and property and now employs over 10,000 people.