David Beckham is celebrating a money-spinning year for the business built around his brand, but his wife Victoria’s fashion and beauty empire continues to require cash injections from its shareholders, the latest accounts show.
The former footballer, who become a global style figure during his rise to fame with Manchester United and England, reportedly pocketed £200m from the sale of 55% of his business to the US group Authentic Brands in 2022.
Beckham joined star names such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, whose global brands are part of the stable at Authentic, which also owns Reebok, Hunter wellington boots and Ted Baker.
Accounts for the first year of the partnership show that brand Beckham’s revenues more than doubled from £34m to £72.6m, although pre-tax profits fell from £23.6m to £10.8m, chiefly because of an increase in administrative expenses.
DRJB Holdings Ltd houses nearly all of the David Beckham businesses, raking in revenue from sponsorships, branding partnerships and a TV business, Studio 99, which produced the Beckham documentary and a biopic about the snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan, The Edge of Everything.
The former England captain still owns 45% of the company and took a stake in Authentic as part of the deal.
Rising revenue was driven by partnerships with brands such as Maserati, Panini, Adidas and Safilo, the company that distributes his DB Eyewear brand, as well as the cosmetics brand Coty. A partnership with Nespresso launched this year.
The company benefited from Beckham’s work as an ambassador for the 2022 Fifa World Cup. The role, for which Beckham was reportedly paid £10m, prompted criticism for profiting from his business relationship with Qatar, because of the Gulf state’s record on human rights, including its treatment of women and LGBTQ+ people.
Beckham said at the time that he believed sport could be a “force for good” and that the World Cup had stimulated debate about the issues.
Victoria Beckham also counted increased revenues at her fashion and makeup business after a renewed push into cosmetics that has led to the former singer fronting social media and advertising campaigns for her brands, but auditors warned it would continue to need more cash injections to keep it afloat.
Revenue increased from £40m to £58m, while the group’s losses narrowed from £5.9m to £3.1m, signalling progress with a planned path to profit that includes cutting back on costs. Shareholders – the Beckhams and the private equity minority backer NEO Investments – have injected £6.9m since the year end.
BDO, the auditor for Victoria Beckham Holdings Ltd, said there was “significant doubt” over the group’s ability to continue as a going concern without continued shareholder support in the form of additional funding or changes to loan arrangements.
The auditors raised the same concerns last year but the Beckhams and NEO have continued to pour money into the business as they press ahead with their turnaround plan. This has included a successful show at Paris fashion week as well as a foray into leather goods, accessories and, in particular, beauty.
The expansion of Victoria Beckham’s beauty brands, including her first eponymous perfume collection, has resulted in her being increasingly involved in promotion, including posting makeup tips on social media. She gained 2.7 million followers on Instagram to reach 49.2million and nearly doubled her TikTok audience to 2.2 million.