Dyson and wife receive £17m dividend

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James Dyson shared a £17m dividend with his wife Deirdre last year, less than 12 months after he transferred production of his bag-less vacuum cleaner to the Far East with the loss of more than 800 jobs.

James Dyson shared a £17m dividend with his wife Deirdre last year, less than 12 months after he transferred production of his bag-less vacuum cleaner to the Far East with the loss of more than 800 jobs.

The dividend payout has emerged from the company's report and accounts for 2003, which show Dyson's profits doubling to £46.3m last year.

Mr Dyson's payment pales into insignificance when contrasted with some of the bumper payouts recently announced by businessmen, such as the £460m Philip Green, the BHS and Arcadia owner, paid himself from Arcadia alone, or the £1.1bn that Lakshmi Mittal, the British-based Indian-born steel magnate awarded himself.

Mr Dyson's payment still enraged trade union leaders, who accused the magnate of "betraying" UK manufacturing when he decided to stop making vacuum cleaners in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

Mr Dyson's decision in 2002 represented a massive U-turn for a man who had previously lamented the decline of British manufacturing. He blamed the high cost of manufacturing products in the UK and claimed the move would enable him to improve the quality of his gadgets.

The company defended the size of the payment, which was more than four times the amount the Dyson family received in 2002. "Dyson's achievement is hard earned and James Dyson plays a vital role in its ongoing success," it said.

The company, which is 100 per cent owned by the Dyson family, relied on a loan from a high street bank and its mentor's supportive family to get off the ground, a spokesman said. It took more than 5,000 attempts and 15 years before Mr Dyson's efforts to revolutionise one of the dullest household chores succeed. Mr Dyson, who has also designed a double-drum washing machine, was ranked this year as Britain's 36th richest man, with a fortune of £800m.

Yesterday Dyson said it made pre-tax profits of £46.3m last year, against £20.4m in 2002, on sales up 18 per cent at£277m.

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