// Belstaff losses mount to £48m
// The retailer now depending on parent company Ineos to survive
Belstaff is reportedly dependent on its billionaire owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe to survive after posting a £48 million loss.
The fashion retailer said it could struggle to operate without the financial support of parent company Ineos, according to its auditor KPMG, The Telegraph reported.
Accounts filed this month with Companies House show Belstaff’s losses narrowed to £48 million during 2018, compared with £62 million a year earlier.
READ MORE: Belstaff opens new London flagship store
In 2018, the retailer’s sales also dropped from £31 million to £30.5 million after it closed a store in Westfield London shopping centre.
The 110-year-old retailer was snapped up by Ineos in 2017 in an unconventional move for Ratcliffe, who has traditionally invested in oil and gas firms.
As of December 31 2018, Belstaff’s debts had climbed to more than £147 million, of which £126 million is owed to Ineos as part of an intercompany loan agreement.
Belstaff reportedly said it will be able to repay its debts and continue to operate with sufficient funds if Ineos agrees to further delay repayment of this loan and inject additional cash into the company.
However, the British retailer is likely to require further financial backing as executives seeks a turnaround plan to grow sales.
Over the last year, Belstaff has expanded, opening concept stores in London’s Regent Street, Spitalfields and Glasgow.
Belstaff said it expects Ineos to continue to delay loan payments until the turnaround is completed.
However, Belstaff’s auditor KPMG warned that Ineos has no contractual obligation to provide further financial assistance.