Sunday 25 November 2018 4:59 pm

George Osborne’s family wallpaper firm blames Brexit wobbles for loss

The high-end fabric and wallpaper maker run by Sir Peter Osborne, father of former chancellor George Osborne, has pinned a substantial drop into the red on Brexit “uncertainty” and investment.

Osborne & Little’s latest accounts, for the year ended 31 March, show a loss before tax of £350,000 on a turnover of £32.1m. In 2016, it made a £73,000 profit on a turnover of £33.7m.

The company has not paid out a dividend since 2015, when George Osborne – then still in the cabinet – received part of a £335,000 payout.

Its annual report said trading “remains competitive,” adding: “The economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues.”

It claimed margins had been hit by investment in product development, saying: “The directors are confident that the investment in new collections and the monitoring of cost control will improve results.”

Sales for the full year dropped by 5 per cent overall – down 12 per cent in the UK, but with a smaller fall in its US and European markets.

In January, Peter Osborne made a £250,000 interest-free loan to one of Osborne & Little’s subsidiaries, which was repaid by mid May.