Michelle Mone’s lingerie firm publishes £388,000 losses on eve of admission into House of Lords as new business tsar

The latest accounts for Ultimo Brands, which was set up by the bra tycoon in 1996, show a huge slump in losses, from £48,673 in 2013 to £388,000 the following year.

Although Mone severed her ties with the company this summer, the accounts, published via Companies House, are from 2014 when she was a director and a substantial shareholder.

Despite the accounts relating to the period before Ms Mone’s departure, her spokesman distanced the 43-year-old from the company’s poor performance, but the news comes with appalling timing as Mone prepares to swear the oath of allegiance in the House of Lords tomorrow after controversially being handed a Tory peerage in this year’s honours list. She will be known as Baroness Mone of Mayfair.

In a statement, he said: ‘Michelle has no involvement in Ultimo either as a shareholder or as a director.

‘She has not seen any financial statements or reports and would not expect to have done for a business which is owned and run by others.’

The company listed assets of about £5.4 m of which £4.2 was described as ‘Goodwill’, which is an intangible asset such as the value of a brand.

Ms Mone will be introduced in the Lords tomorrow after being appointed by the UK Government to carry out a review into how best to encourage start-ups in areas of high unemployment.

She is leading ‘The Mone Review’, a report about entrepreneurship and the difficulties of setting up small businesses in deprived areas for Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

But business leaders openly voiced their dismay at her appointment, amid claims Ultimo Brands has been in serious trouble since 2011.

In the 18 months up to October 2012, the company lost nearly £550,000 while, in 2009, the firm’s directors owed the company a large amount of money.

At the end of the year, they owed £680,000. Two years later, they owed £862,993. Conversely, in the year to April 2008, pre-tax profits were £919,012; in 2009, they were £960,000.

Douglas Anderson, of plant and tool hire firm Gap Group, even wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron criticising the appointment.

He said: ‘Her businesses have been no more than excessively over-promoted PR minnows gaining unjustified acclaim due to the glamorous sector they happen to be in.

‘There is no way, by any measure, that she is qualified to advise anybody on setting up a profitable business, because, quite simply, she hasn’t.’

But a spokesman for Department for Work and Pensions insisted Ms Mone was still ‘more than qualified’ to continue her government work.

Ultimo Brands is the new holding company for the MJM International, the company she set up with her then husband Michael Mone that ceased trading.

Image: Featureflash / Shutterstock.com