Clarks shareholders see dividends more than halved after rocky year

 
Alys Key
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Chinese Tourists Visit Clarks Village
The historic brand is still 85 per cent owned by family members (Source: Getty)

Descendants of the Clarks shoes founders will take a share of a much smaller dividend pot this year, after the chain struggled with sinking profits.

Hundreds of Clark family members hold 85 per cent of the company between them, with business investors and employees owning the rest.

But shareholders will be dividing up £16.5m in dividends this year, as opposed to £42.5m last year, representing a drop of 61.2 per cent.

Profits for the year ended 31 January 2017 slipped to £39.1m from £41.8m the year before. Clarks also cuts jobs at its UK headquarters last month.

But turnover was up by 7.9 per cent to £1.6bn, largely due to money from the overseas arms of the business which translated favourably back into sterling.

Read more: Pound jumps above $1.30 as British retail sales enjoy time in the sun

But chief executive Mike Shearwood, appointed to lead a turnaround plan last September, said the pound’s slide ‘brings risk and uncertainty’ to trading.

He also said in his strategic report this year that the company had made progress on fundamental financials, and had completed a refinancing of its loans.

Read more: Clarks looks to revamp its property portfolio

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