Victoria and David Beckham have a gold-plated lifestyle many would dearly love to lead.
She runs her luxury fashion operation whose fans include princess-in-waiting Meghan Markle. He is perhaps the most famous sportsman in the world whose name alone makes him millions and who has just unveiled plans to launch his own football club in Miami.
But, if it’s any consolation to the terminally envious, the Beckhams’ his’n’hers business accounts suggest even they are not immune to money worries – albeit ones that many of us wouldn’t mind being lumbered with.
In the red: Victoria Beckham’s fashion label posted an £8.5 million loss in 2016
Some have even suggested that the £10 million Victoria – also known as Posh Spice – stands to gain from the planned Spice Girls’ reunion might come in handy.
The demands of the cut-throat world of high-end style mean that Victoria’s brand, while immensely popular with the fashion-obsessed, needs cash. The label doubled in size annually for the first three years it published financial accounts, hitting £15.4 million in 2012.
But in recent years growth has hit a ceiling, rising to almost £37 million in 2015 but then falling back 1 per cent the following year.
Experts point out that establishing a global luxury brand requires heavy investment in the early years and Victoria’s label has made a loss in four of the eight years it filed accounts, with red ink of £8.5 million in 2016.
That may just be a bump in the road. Sources familiar with the brand’s strategy suggest it expects to break even as soon as next year, with a goal to boost sales in Asia and the US.
Unlike many entrepreneurs, Victoria can always fall back on a super-wealthy spouse to back her apparently boundless ambitions.
In contrast with his wife’s business, David’s profits have soared. He has hauled in £80 million in profits over the past three years, putting their joint company Beckham Brand Holdings more than comfortably in the black.
In the black: David Beckham
If Victoria’s ambitions pay off, the pair could be swimming in even more cash than they are already, as it could easily double in size in three or four years.
Among those backing her plans is London-based luxury goods investor David Belhassen whose firm Neo has pumped £30 million into Victoria’s clothing label.
The former Goldman Sachs banker, who also invested in the expansion of bakery chain Paul, has a string of high-end brands under his wing including boutique hotelier The Experimental Group, French patisserie Ladurée and Milanese leather goods maker Valextra whose bags can sell at more than £3,000.
His company’s investment values Victoria’s fashion label at £100 million.
One source said: ‘The difference between the two parts of the Beckham business is that one bit – his – needs hardly any cash or people to run it. The other – hers – needs a lot of capital expenditure and investment.
‘It take enormous investment to get brands like Victoria’s to the next level – opening in the best locations and having incredible product. Neo has a reputation for nurturing global brands. It’s not a firm that wants a quick turnaround and an exit in four years.
‘But you don’t have private equity in a firm like this to lose money.’