Mobility millionaire paid £66m over four years as business booms

The founder of Yorkshire-based stairlift supplier, Acorn Mobility Services, paid himself more than £66m in the last four years as sales continued to climb smoothly, reaching nearly £212m last year.  

John Jakes, who now lives in Monaco, owns 100% of the manufacturer and is estimated to have a worth of £180m, according to The Sunday Times Rich List, which places him level with Sir Rod Stewart’s wealth.

Mr Jakes took home £66.4m between 2015 and 2018, including a £14m interim dividend this year and a £19m dividend last year, according to company accounts.

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The businessman was paid £18.5m in 2015 and £15m in 2016 when gross profits were £88m and £117m, respectively.

Overseas business has helped Acorn to steadily increase sales in recent years, aided by a strong US dollar, which helped operating profits to reach £20.5m in the year ended 30 September 2017.

It is thought that less than 30% of Acorn’s sales now come from the UK and the firm estimates that one of its stairlifts are installed somewhere in the world every eight minutes. Non-UK turnover increased from 68% to 71% last year.

Acorn’s headcount grew by 178 to 1,485 employees last year.

The joint chairmen of Acorn’s main industry rival, brothers Brian and Alan Stannah from Stannah Lifts, are jointly named as the 693rd richest people in The Sunday Times Rich List.

The brothers are estimated to have a fortune of £171m according to the annual ranking of the UK’s 1,000 wealthiest people.

Image credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

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Joe Peskett

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