Ineos boss Sir Jim Ratcliffe bails out Belstaff’s £17m losses

Ineos boss Sir Jim Ratcliffe bails out his fashion label Belstaff after it makes significant losses

Stylish: Poldark star Eleanor Tomlinson is a fan of the Belstaff brand

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has bailed out his fashion label Belstaff after it made significant losses.

The business sells its clothing through its own shops as well as department stores including Harrods and House of Fraser.

Belstaff leather biker jackets are favourites with motorcyclists as well as with supermodels including Kate Moss.

Poldark star Eleanor Tomlinson and James Norton, who appears in the hit TV series Happy Valley, are both fans – as is Ratcliffe himself who is often seen wearing the brand.

Belstaff International’s sales in 2021 increased 16 per cent to £50 million, despite having to close stores temporarily during lockdown. Losses shrank to just under £17 million. The fashion firm said it was relying on £233 million of loans from parent Ineos, the chemicals group owned by Ratcliffe.

Billionaire Ratcliffe is one of the world’s richest men. He owns a fleet of jets and two football clubs – Nice in the South of France and Lausanne-Sport in Switzerland. The tycoon has seen losses at Ineos Automotive, which is trying to develop a rival to the Land Rover Defender.

When Ratcliffe bought Belstaff in 2017 it was losing money and it has continued to do so since.

Belstaff said Ineos has agreed to subsidise the business at least until the end of next year and that it will continue to make funding available ‘as needed’.

The brand was founded 99 years ago, making waterproof waxed cotton jackets for bikers. It has been revived under Ratcliffe’s ownership and has stores in London, Glasgow, Manchester, Germany and the US.

The business is scouting for new stores and wholesale customers as part of a growth plan.