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The Body Shop administrators investigate allegations of missing millions

Sophie Smith
04 March 2024

The Body Shop administrators are investigating claims that millions of pounds were taken out of the business prior to its collapse.

FRP is currently looking into allegations of unaccounted funds that pre-date The Body Shop's sale to private equity firm Aurelius, with the investigation remaining at an early stage, according to The Telegraph.

Senior MPs have now called for a deeper review of The Body Shop’s failure as it faces a number of store closures and job losses.

The Body Shop

Scrutiny around the circumstances of The Body Shop's collapse may also be intensified by figures seen by The Telegraph, which revealed that the company's UK retail arm posted profits of £19 million on revenues of £163 million ahead of its fall into administration.

These figures accounted for 198 of The Body Shop’s stores across the UK and do not cover costs from its global operations.

According to the administrators, The Body Shop entity placed into administration last month included costs from the firm’s operations abroad, which led to it posting a £60 million loss overall in 2022.

The news comes as The Sunday Times reveals that The Body Shop's administrators are closing dozens of shops despite them being profitable.

Although FRP said 82 of the brand's UK shops will shut over the next four to six weeks, internal company documents seen by the publication found that just eight of its 206 UK stores were loss-making last year.

The brand's stores in Ipswich and Hempstead Valley are closing despite respectively contributing £99,000 and £97,000 of underlying profit in 2023.

However, a source close to FRP told The Sunday Times that the closures are based on expected profitability for this year and that the stores were typically loss-making until the final two months.

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