Lingerie firm founded by Government business tsar Michelle Mone reveals losses
- Credit: PA
The lingerie firm founded by entrepreneur Michelle Mone has announced losses of almost £400,000, as she prepares for her admission into the House of Lords as a Government business tsar today.
The latest accounts for bra and underwear business Ultimo Brands show annual losses spiralling to £388,191 to the end of December last year, compared with £48,673 in 2013.
Ms Mone founded the business in 1996, but announced she had left the firm, and its parent company MJM International, in August as her political and other business interests grew.
A spokesman for Ms Mone said: “Michelle has no involvement in Ultimo as a shareholder or a director.
“She has not seen any financial statements or reports of the business, which is now run by others.”
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However, Ms Mone’s period as a director of the business covers its 2014 accounts.
The 43-year-old, who grew up in the east end of Glasgow, is due to become a Conservative peer today.
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She has also been appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions to carry out a review of the support available for people from less advantaged areas to start up their own businesses.
Her report, dubbed the Mone Review, is due for publication by next summer.
Critics have said that Ms Mone’s relatively early peerage is a result of her slick public relations rather than on the long-term success of her businesses.
Ms Mone was also a high-profile supporter of the Better Together campaign during last year’s Scottish referendum and was subject to a series of verbal attacks. Earlier this year she moved home from Glasgow to London.
Ms Mone, who is reportedly worth £20 million, founded Ultimo’s “cleavage-enhancing” bras in 1996 with her then husband Michael.
The bras have often been promoted by celebrities, most famously by actress Julia Roberts who wore the firm’s miracle solutions plunge bra in her Oscar-winning performance in Erin Brockovich.
Following a protracted divorce, her husband left the company in 2013, and a year later Ms Mone sold 80% of the business to Sri Lanka-based lingerie group MAS Holdings.
Ms Mone has cultivated a media profile and has appeared on TV shows as diverse as The Apprentice, Celebrity MasterChef and Surprise Surprise.
She also owns stakes in a tanning firm, a slimming business and works as a motivational speaker.