Fortnum & Mason’s Canadian owner makes £105m windfall

Kasmira Jefford
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Wittington Investments owns Fortnum & Mason and 54 per cent of Associated British Foods
THE CANADIAN owners of Fortnum & Mason and Associated British Foods have made £105m in dividends – most of which will go to charitable causes – after another buoyant year.

Accounts filed recently on Companies House reveal that Wittington Investments, one of the main investment vehicles of the Weston Family, paid out £63m in the year to 13 September compared with £53m the previous year.

This was followed by a £42m dividend after the year-end.

The main beneficiary was the Garfield Weston Foundation, which supports charities including the Salvation Army and the Demelza Children’s Hospice. It controls a 79 per cent stake in Wittington and received £83m in dividends.

The payout came as pre-tax profits soared to £1.04bn from £879m in 2013, thanks to a strong performance at Primark-owner ABF. Sales dipped from £13.42bn to £13.06bn. Wittington also owns homeware chain Heal’s and hotels including The Grand in Brighton.