Profit of £1.4bn…but Chanel scraps its dividend

Chanel scraps series of dividend payments after slide in sales left profits down heavily last year

Luxury goods giant Chanel has scrapped a series of dividend payments after a slide in sales left profits down heavily last year. 

The privately owned company revealed that despite its shops being shut last year it still made $1.9billion (£1.4billion) in the year to December. 

In the previous year it made more than $3.2billion. Sales fell 18 per cent last year to $10.1billion. 

Iconic: Film star Marion Cotillard as the face of Chanel’s No5 perfume brand

Chanel said in newly published documents that it had not paid out money to its owners – French billionaires Alain and Gerard Wertheimer – in July or December last year. 

It added that no dividend has been proposed for this month, when a payment is normally due. The company paid a whopping £1.2billion dividend during 2019. 

The firm, with its corporate headquarters in London, said sales had shown ‘good resilience’ in a ‘very challenging year’ during which many of its manufacturers were also temporarily forced to shut up shop.

It said fashion sales began the year strongly, while watches and fine jewellery collections performed well throughout the pandemic. Sales of fragrances were ‘mixed’ after curbs on international travel. 

Last week, The Mail on Sunday revealed it had appointed Channel 4 chief Alex Mahon as a nonexecutive director. 

Chanel makes more than half of its sales in Asia and the remainder in Europe and the US. It borrowed £600million from the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility in April last year.

It refinanced the loan and settled with the bank in October. At the same time it raised a similar sum through a ‘sustainability bond’ linked to its environmental goals.

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