The boss of holiday airline Jet2.com has flown up the rankings of Yorkshire’s wealthiest people, a survey has revealed.
Philip Meeson, who runs the Leeds-based discount carrier, has seen his fortune rise by 131% in a year to £386m, according to The Sunday Times Rich List 2016, which is published this weekend.
Shares in his Leeds-based Dart Group have taken off with the business now worth close to £1bn. Profits have doubled at Jet2.com in the six months to last September – and he has ordered a fleet of 27 Boeing airliners to cope with the expansion.
Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle and his wife Janet remain 12th on the regional list with a fortune of £282m – up by £2m on 2015.
The couple sold greetings card retailer Card Factory for a reported £350m in 20l0. Last September, Mr Hoyle was appointed to the board of high street stationery, books and toys chain The Works having taken a “significant” shareholding in the business.
Alan Lewis, the businessman behind the multi-million transformation of Slaithwaite’s Globe Mills into an innovation centre, is 13th with £280m – up by £10m on a year ago.
And Grange Moor-born Malcolm Walker, founder and chief executive of frozen food chain Iceland, is 19th on the Yorkshire list with £226m – up by £11m on last year.
The regional rankings are led by Robert Miller, his daughter Princess Marie-Chantal and wider family, who are now worth £1.58bn after boosting their fortune by £540m. That follows a near-20% rise in the value of LVMH, the French luxury goods group that holds a controlling stake in Hong Kong-Duty Free Shoppers.
American-born Mr Miller founded the airport shopping chain in 1960 and retains a 38.75% holding in the business, which is expanding into city centre locations through its Galleria brand. Marie-Chantal is Crown Princess of Greece.
Mr Miller has toppled brothers Eddie and Malcolm Healey from the top of the regional rich list, who are now second with a £1.43bn fortune. Eddie, 78, sold Parc Trostre retail park, in Llanelli, Wales, for £156m in 2014, a fraction of the price achieved for his Meadowhall centre, near Sheffield, which sold for £1.17bn in 1999. Malcolm, 71, sold Hygena Kitchens for £200m and then repeated the process in America, selling up for £800m.
Lord Kirkham, founder of furniture chain DFS, retains his £1.15bn fortune, ranking third in the county. He made £450m for his family when he floated the business in 1993, before taking it private again. A further sale of the business to Advent in 2010 plus dividends earned Lord Kirkham a further £400m.
Tony Murray and family completes the list of Yorkshire billionaires at £1.05bn. At 96, Mr Murray is the oldest person in this year’s rich list. His main British operations are the Andrew Sykes business, which hires heating and air-conditioning equipment, and Leeds-based fire protection firm London Security. He also owns six hotels, worth £400m, with another under construction.