Commenting on figures revealed in The Sunday Times Rich List, which was published this Sunday (April 26), the newspaper said: “Sir Ken’s fortune has been hit by tough times in the supermarket sector and is down £167M from last year.
“The 83-year-old is life president of Wm Morrison, the supermarket group founded by his father. The company made a £792M loss in 2014–15 and its share price has fallen as a result, reducing the value of the family stake to £283M. Past share sales and other assets add a further £450M to the family’s wealth.”
Morrisons declined to comment on the report.
Including his family’s wealth, Morrison is ranked fifth richest person in Yorkshire by The Sunday Times, commanding a total fortune of £733M.
While this may seem like a lot to most mere mortals, he only comes in at 153rd place in the overall Rich List.
Earlier this month, Morrisons announced it was recruiting 5,000 staff for in-store roles while axing more than 700 head office posts. That followed the news that seven out of 10 of the retailer’s management board had left the business since new ceo David Potts started work there in March. Upon joining, Potts invested £1M in Morrisons’ shares to declare his faith in the company.
Like most of the other top supermarket chains, Morrisons has had a turbulent year, culminating in reporting a 52% drop in pre-tax profit to £345M for the year to February 1. That was set against pre-tax profit of £719M in the previous financial year. Annual like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT, fell by 5.9%.
Malcolm Walker, boss of frozen food chain Iceland Foods, is named the 17th richest person in Yorkshire, with a fortune of £125M.
Meanwhile, over in the West Midlands, husband and wife team Ranjit Boparan, ceo of food giant 2 Sisters Food Group, and wife Baljinder appear in 608th place in the rankings, with combined wealth of £160M.
Boparan, a new entrant in the league last year, is the 18th richest person in the West Midlands, according to The Sunday Times.
The Sunday Times Rich List is compiled by Philip Beresford, the leading British expert on wealth, and edited by Ian Coxon.
It charts the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in the UK and the 250 richest in Ireland. The list is based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies. It excludes bank accounts, to which the paper has no access.