Harrods, the world famous London department store, has reportedly paid a £118 million ($188 million) dividend to its Qatari owners after posting record sales and profits, said Arabian Business. The UK's Telegraph newspaper said new accounts filed at Companies House show that Harrods increased turnover by 10 percent to £843 million in the year to February 1 2014, with pre-tax profits up 24 percent to £115 million. The growth in sales and profits led to Harrods paying out a dividend of £117.6 million, almost double that paid out last year, the paper said.
Harrods is owned by Qatar Holding which bought the department store for £1.5 billion in 2010 from Mohamed Al Fayed. In February, a senior executive of Qatar Investment Authority said it has invested £250 million into London luxury department store Harrods since acquiring it four years ago. Ahmad Al-Sayed, CEO of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), said that the UK would remain a “main destination” for the fund. QIA, with around $110bn in assets, is one of the world’s richest sovereign funds and receives approximately $29.3bn per year from the oil and gas-rich Gulf state’s government.
Through Qatar Holding, QIA owns a number of stakes in prominent British companies, including grocer J Sainsbury, Barclays and the holding company which owns Heathrow Airport. Investments in Harrods, which it acquired in 2010 for £1.5bn, include a 30,000 sqft Fashion Lab, the world’s largest collection of luxury shoes, and a new glass chandelier.