Harrods scores hat trick

This week, Harrods confirmed it had lost its finance director in a Companies House filing, the third director this year to join the growing list of departing executives from London’s self-styled top peoples’ store.

But 2002 has been comparatively quiet – in 2001 nine directors left Mohamed Al Fayed’s business empire.

Harrods of course has rarely been off the business pages in recent months.

Former auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers resigned at the beginning of this year and was replaced by mid-tier firm Grant Thornton. Meanwhile the latest available figures have shown a slump in Harrods’ profits – from £38.9m in 1999 to £20.2m in 2000. And then there is the small matter of Al Fayed’s tax bill.

In June the Inland Revenue announced it had ordered staff to stop striking deals with wealthy individuals after a court ruled the tax authority had been wrong to reach a ‘forward’ tax arrangement with Al Fayed.

Listed companies may be being put through the mill currently but if Harrods is anything to go by, life is little better among privately owned businesses.

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