Saturday 21 April 2018

Losses at Bono and Ali fashion firm total €67m

Bono and his wife Ali Hewson. Photo: Arthur Carron
Bono and his wife Ali Hewson. Photo: Arthur Carron

Gordon Deegan

Accumulated losses at the ethical clothing company controlled by Bono and Ali Hewson soared to $74.3m (€67.2m) last year.

New figures lodged with the Companies Office show that Edun Apparel recorded a loss of $7.56m in the 12 months to the end of December last.

It continued the trend of hefty annual losses recorded over recent years for the firm with last year's 35pc increase on the $5.57m (€6.85m) loss recorded in 2014.

This followed losses of $6.4m (€5.8m) in 2013; $7.88m (€7.14m) in 2012 and $8.5m (€7.71m) in 2011.

Bono and his wife Ali established the global fashion brand in 2005 in an effort to bring about positive change through its trading relationship with Africa and its positioning as a creative force in contemporary fashion.

The fashion brand is based in New York City and its website states that "in respect of its mission to source production and encourage trade in Africa, Edun mixes its modern designer vision with the richness and positivity of this fast-growing continent".

It adds that it "is building long-term, sustainable growth opportunities by supporting manufacturers, community-based initiatives and partnering with African artists and artisans".

The 2015 accounts show that the firm's shareholders, Bono, Ali Hewson and the world's largest luxury goods group, LVMH continue to prop up the firm by way of shareholder loans.

LVMH - which owns some of the world's top luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Moet Chandon and designer brand Donna Karan - owns 49pc of Edun Apparel.

A note attached to the accounts states that the company is financed by way of shareholder loans.

"The shareholders have confirmed that they will not seek repayment of the said loans for the foreseeable future and they will provide the company with sufficient finances to ensure the continued operation of the company," it said.

Arising from the 2009 deal to purchase just under half of Edun, LVMH provides support, investment and infrastructure to help the business grow into a global fashion brand and support its vision to grow trade in Africa.

The figures show that net liabilities increased from $45.5m (€41.27m) to $51.67m (€46.87m) during the year.

The firm's cash pile during the year increased from $2.24m (€2.03m) to $3m (€2.72m). The accounts show that management fees charges by US-based subsidiary Edun Americas Inc last year increased from $2.6m (€2.35m) to $3.1m (€2.81m).

Irish Independent

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