It’s essentially recording another year of losses

Losses at Quintessentially, the high-end concierge company co-founded by the Queen’s nephew, widened to £2.7m in the latest financial year.

The group, co-founded by Sir Ben Elliot, a former Conservative Party co-chairman and Queen Camilla’s nephew, posted a pre-tax loss of £2.7m for the year to 30 April 2023, widening from the loss. of £1.5 million in the previous year.

In its filing to Companies House, it essentially warned that if business returns are “significantly lower than anticipated” the group may be required to seek external funding which “may not be available and therefore creates significant uncertainty which it can ultimately challenge the group and companies. “ability to continue in continuous operation”.

Characteristically, founded in 2000, it offers a lifestyle supporting wealthy members and major corporations with services including private jets and personal appearances by pop stars.

Turnover at Quintessentially (UK) Limited fell to £26.3m in the year to the end of April 2023, from £27.4m in 2022. The group said the drop was due to “extraordinary income” in its agency business in Saudi Arabia in in 2022.

The group’s net short-term liabilities rose to £27.5m, up from £24.3m in 2022. Essentially, it said it was unable to declare a dividend “due to accumulated losses”.

Its private membership grew by 9 percent during the 2023 financial year as more high net worth individuals signed up for its services. The group, which has offices in 35 cities worldwide, said its private events and weddings team had grown due to a “significant increase in demand”.

It reported an increase in gross profit from £15.9m to £16.6m, supported by an increase in gross margins from 58 per cent to 63 per cent. The company also said it had renewed its credit facilities from its largest shareholder, World Fuel Services Europe. The group borrowed £12.5 million from the company and is due to repay the loans on July 31 this year.

The group said it received £122,000 in government grants in the last two financial years, £49,000 in the year to 30 April 2023 and £73,000 in the previous year.

The quintessential 2023 accounts, which were delayed by more than three months, were audited by London-based accountancy firm Sopher & Co. BDO previously audited the company between 2019 and 2023, but only signed off on two sets of published accounts in that time.

In its 2019 accounts, which were filed 18 months late, Quintessentially admitted making £7m in accounting errors and wrongly paying out £1.4m in dividends when the company could not afford to.

Elliot was knighted in June last year as part of Boris Johnson's resignation honors when he stepped down as prime minister.

Elliot was knighted in June last year as part of Boris Johnson’s resignation honors when he stepped down as prime minister.

DAVE BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES FOR DIN TAI FUNG

Its delayed accounts for the year to 30 April 2020 were not signed off until September 2022. In that submission, Elliot wrote that the restructuring, which saw 30 companies consolidated into Quintessentially UK, combined with the demands of the pandemic, had resulted in “extraordinary delays” to its Financial statements. In 2021, it commissioned Deloitte to explore a possible sale of the company.

In 2016, the company reportedly paid £1.4m to the Department for International Trade to make a pitch to “attract the right high-net-worth individual investors to the UK”.

Elliot was appointed co-chairman of the Conservative Party in 2019 and resigned in 2022. He was allegedly involved in the “access capitalism scandal” and accused of using his royalty connections to raise money for the Conservatives. He was knighted in June 2023 as part of Boris Johnson’s resignation honours.

Essentially and Elliot have been contacted for comment.