THE wheels may have come to a stop, but Britain’s most successful Olympian is enjoying a money-spinning retirement away from the velodrome.
Sir Chris Hoy, the most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time, made nearly £1 million in profit last year, according to newly filed accounts.
Two years after he was last in the saddle, the Edinburgh-born star is busy with a flurry of new sporting and commercial activities that is bolstering his income.
The latest records for his company, Trackstars Limited, show it made a profit of more than £980,000 in the 12 months to 30 June 2014, some £70,000 more than the previous year.
It is a far cry from the early days of his career when he struggled to make a living while pursuing his sporting dream.
Before his triple gold success at the Beijing Olympics, Sir Chris received £24,000 a year in Lottery grants, supplemented by a few small-scale sponsorship deals.
The success of those Games in 2008, however, saw him propelled into the pantheon of British sporting greats, and with it his earning power shot up.
When, four years later, he secured a further two golds at London 2012, his profile increased yet again.
In retirement, Sir Chris has been best known for his work supporting sporting events such as Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games, as well as numerous charitable endeavours.
However, he also enjoys a growing portfolio of commercial interests, not least the various sponsorship deals from major companies eager to be associated with him.
He has been the face of advertising campaigns for the likes of Gillette and Bran Flakes and has made significant sums from deals with the likes of Highland Spring and Adidas. He has also launched his own range of bicycles under the Hoy Bikes label and teamed up with Vulpine, a London-based firm which manufactures cycling apparel.
An articulate and thoughtful ambassador for his sport, he is also a highly sought after public speaker, and has worked with companies such as Diageo at corporate functions.
More recently, Sir Chris has embarked on two new careers, the first as a professional car racing driver and brand ambassador with Nissan. He is also a budding children’s author, with a six-book deal in place.
The accounts for Trackstars, filed with Companies House, reveal the firm’s total assets are worth £1,381,849, made up of £1,271,939 held in the bank and £109,810 owed by debtors. The company’s assets have jumped by almost £600,000 in the past three years.
The records show the 39-year-old owed £400,723 to unnamed creditors, leaving him with profits of £980,926. Sir Chris took out more than £1m in dividends between 2009 and 2011 but since hanging up his helmet he has not received any.
He set up the company in 2005, a year after he won gold at the Athens Olympics, but it is only since his triple gold-winning performance in China that the cash has poured in.
Three years ago, he defended his tax arrangements after it emerged he had received a loan from Trackstars. Sir Chris denied he or his firm has disguised remuneration, stressing he took his responsibilities as a taxpayer “as seriously as I do an athlete”. He admitted borrowing almost £325,000 from the company but insisted it was repaid.
“Everything I have done is as a UK resident and is UK taxable and not offshore,” he said. “The dividends that I took to repay the loan were in fact taxed at the highest rate.
“I saw an opportunity to buy property and with the guidance of my advisers I borrowed money from my company to do so. The loan was repaid shortly thereafter by declaration of fully taxable dividends.”
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