Time Products Luxury Limited has reported a dramatic spike in sales and profits in 2016 thanks largely to a one-off payment from Audemars Piguet for the early termination of a long term distribution agreement.
In the same financial year, Marcus Margulies sold his world-renowned collection of vintage Audemars Piguet timepieces to the Swiss watchmaker. Mr Margulies, founder and CEO of Time Products Luxury, spent almost 30 years amassing what is thought to have been the most significant private collection in the world, including pieces dating from the 1890s to the 1990s.
Audemars Piguet is building an extension to its museum in Le Brassus that is expected to open in 2019.
Neither party would comment on the details of the sale or distribution termination agreement, but it is referred to in accounts filed at Companies House by Time Products Luxury, which state: “A very substantial proportion of this profit results from the early termination of the long term distribution agreement with Audemars Piguet”.
The exceptional item caused turnover to rise to £31.77 million in the financial year ended January 31, 2017; more than double the £14.5 million in sales reported for the prior year.
Pre-tax profit for Time Products Luxury also surged from £1.86 million in 2015-16 to £24.38 million last year. Its corporation tax bill was almost £5 million.
The details of Audemars Piguet’s settlement figure for “early termination of its distribution agreement” have not been disclosed, but the spike in sales and profits for 2016-17 suggest the sum was around £17 million.
Time Products Luxury Limited describes itself as an importer and trader of luxury watches. In its heyday as a distributor the company represented the majority of major luxury Swiss watch brands in the UK.
More recently it has operated mainly as a retailer, running haute horology showroom Marcus on Old Bond Street, a Hublot monobrand store on New Bond Street and Almar, a specialist in limited editions and vintage timepieces in London’s Burlington Arcade.
The Hublot store has recently been sold to Italian jewellery company Pomellato with remaining Hublot stock being sold at the nearby Almar showroom.
The Marcus boutique also closed this summer with Mr Margulies telling WatchPro that it is no longer possible for retailers to make a profit working from Bond Street.
The next venture for Mr Margulies is to turn a six-bedroom Mayfair townhouse into an ultra-luxurious gallery and showroom. It will welcome invitation-only private customers to view and buy art and top end timepieces.
Documents at the UK Land Registry show the townhouse was bought for £24.5 million by an off-shore company that is owned by Time Products Luxury. The company says in its accounts that “when refurbishment of the property is complete it will be used as a luxury showroom”.