AFZAL and Akmal Khushi, Scotland's richest Asian businessmen, enjoyed another huge rise in pay at their highly-successful clothing empire last year, adding more millions to their personal wealth.
Their Glasgow-based company's highest-paid director, assumed to be one of the reclusive brothers, took home
(pounds) 3.1m - (pounds) 60,000 a week - ranking him just below Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Fred Goodwin in the league table of Scotland's top corporate earners.
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Total boardroom pay, shared with Latifan Khushi and Mohammed Khushi, soared to (pounds) 6.4m in the year to June 30, up from (pounds) 2.5m in 2002. The payments are disclosed in the annual report of Jacobs & Turner, which manufactures outdoor clothing under the Trespass label.
If boardroom pay had remained unchanged, Jacobs & Turner would have posted pre-tax profits of (pounds) 4m, a one-third increase on 2002. The bottom-line surplus reported in the accounts - (pounds) 123,000 - is effectively meaningless in the context of such a huge rise in directors' pay. No dividends were paid during the year.
Trespass has 14 retail outlets in the UK, including five in Scotland - at Braehead shopping centre in Renfrewshire, Edinburgh's Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre, Fort William, Loch Lomond, and Livingston.
A fortnight ago, Trespass opened new outlets in Trollhattan, in Sweden, and Hilversum, Holland, adding to its existing continental European outlet in Belgium.
A spokesman said the company sells the Trespass brand though franchises in ''many more'' countries, but would
give no further details. He added: ''We are not keen to contribute to these articles because they tend to concentrate on (the Khushis) and ignore the fact that the company employs many other hard-working people.''
The directors' statement in the annual report reads simply: ''(We) are pleased to report that the company has had another successful year and that business continues to increase. The company's retail operations have continued to expand and have increased the contribution towards this year's results.''
The Khushi family bought the company in 1966 and expanded its range from winter clothing to include sportswear, summer clothing, and skiwear. The Trespass name has since reached 50 countries world-wide and the firm now employs more than 180 staff.
Four years ago, first minister Donald Dewar opened the Khushis' flagship (pounds) 10m plant in Glasgow's Kinning Park as part of its strategy to diversify and expand in the US. An 80,000 sq ft factory extension is currently under construction, which the firm said will help it to increase storage facilities to meet customer demands.
Afzal and Akmal, both in their mid-forties, retained
the title of Scotland's richest Asians in a survey published earlier this month by the Asian radio station Sunrise. Their joint wealth is estimated at (pounds) 47m, ranking the pair ahead of Munawar Hayat, owner of Sher Brothers in Glasgow ((pounds) 30m), and Maq Rasul, owner of the Global Video chain ((pounds) 20m).
In Sunrise Radio's rich list, the Khushis were placed just inside the top 40 UK-wide, in a ranking topped by billionaire steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, who has just paid a world record (pounds) 70m for a mansion in London's Kensington Palace Gardens.
Other figures suggest that Jacobs & Turner, which has grown turnover by 50% since 1997, continues to expand, though at a more modest rate than previous years. Income increased by 4% in 2003, to (pounds) 36.7m, while the number of full-time equivalent employees rose by 18.