Beware Hubris!


It was sad to see Patisserie Valerie finally slip into administration recently and 1,000 people lose their jobs immediately as 70 cafes were closed.

The impact to Luke Johnsons fortune and reputation is huge. Previously he owned 37% of the business worth £165m and up to last last autumn was a revered columnist penning weekly advice to lesser business mortals on how they could achieve business greatness like he had.

Johnson now claims to be a victim of the fraud but he is at least £20 m better off than he was at the outset of his PV journey so not much of a victim!

Hubris also prevented him from asking some difficult questions of his team when he was presented with numbers that just didn't ring true. For example the sales per cafe were always £600k throughout the journey, never changing for five years and how was it that PV was able to run at 15% margins when the rest of the market was at 8%?

So, if you think that the numbers look to good then don't be afraid to look further because if they looked bad, you definitely would, wouldn't you?

If you are concerned about your numbers then contact stephen.sacks@fundingnav.com


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