THE lingerie and swimwear firm run by Scottish entrepreneur Michelle Mone has made a significant loss, its latest accounts show.
MJM International made a £547,018 loss in the 18 months to October 2012, according to accounts submitted to Companies House. And in the previous 12 months, the firm, which has its headquarters in East Kilbride, made a profit of just £1,418, the accounts show.
The figures, revealed yesterday, showed MJM’s turnover for the 12 months to May 2011 was £8.4 million, but it fell to £7.4m over the subsequent 18 months.
But last night a spokeswoman for the firm said the latest accounts did not reflect the investment MJM had recently received from MAS Holdings, a Sri Lanka-based underwear manufacturer whose clients include some of the world’s top labels.
The spokeswoman said: “Due to issues in the business outwith our control, we lost valuable trading time in the market during 2012 and earlier this year, which is reflected in these recent results.
“What the results do not reflect is the strength of investment from MAS Holdings that has put the company in a solid competitive position.
“Michelle Mone and MAS Holdings remain very excited about the future of Ultimo.”
MJM had previously put in “heavy investment” to develop a range of new lines, which had eaten into profits of the core bra business.
But Mone had said she expected her Ultimo range – the firm’s biggest selling range – to grow in profits and turnover.
At the end of October last year, the firm carried debts of £2.2m due within one year, and £457,000 falling due after that. Assets were down from £1.38m to £876,000.
The drop in profits come just months after Ms Mone finalised a high-profile divorce with her husband, Michael.
Earlier this year, the Scottish businesswoman announced a new partnership with MAS Holdings – just a day after her husband’s business involvement with MJM ended.
Michael Mone, with whom Michelle set up MJM in 1996, announced the launch of Pendulum Apparel in May, when he hired former Ultimo designer Samantha Bunn in a bid to rival his former wife’s company.
Speaking previously about the split from her husband, Ms Mone said her career came between the pair and revealed he had objected to his wife posing in her underwear for the brand. She also said she felt “so alone” after the separation.
She had previously told how a fall in profits was down to increased investment in MJM developing new beauty products, along with the effect of exchange rates and rising raw material costs.
The mother of three, who paid herself a salary of £127,000 in 2011 and was made an OBE in 2010, has previously appeared as an entrepreneur on the hit BBC One show The Apprentice.
Mone’s Ultimo range of bras became a world-wide success after actress Julia Roberts wore a cleavage-enhancing bra from the range in the movie Erin Brockovich.