Ben Elliot’s Quintessentially warns £29m liabilities could threaten its future

<span>Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Quintessentially, the concierge service for the super-rich co-founded by Queen Camilla’s nephew, Ben Elliot, lost £1.5m in its latest financial year and warned investors it is struggling with £29m of liabilities that could threaten its future as a going concern.

The company that Elliot, a former co-chair of the Conservative party, set up in 2020, reported pre-tax losses of £1.5m in the year to the end of April 2022, compared with a £3.8m loss a year earlier. However, its post-tax losses increased to £12.9m, up from £8m the previous year.

In its much-delayed filing with Companies House on Wednesday night, the company said its liabilities had ballooned to £29m, up from £23.7m a year earlier. The company warned that if it required more “external funding” it “may not be forthcoming and therefore this creates material uncertainty that may ultimately cast doubt about the group and company’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

Quintessentially, which in 2016 was reportedly paid £1.4m by the Department for International Trade to make introductions to “attract the right high-value individual investors to the UK”, has borrowed more than £12m from its largest shareholder, World Kinect Corporation (formerly known as World Fuel Services). It paid out more than £700,000 in interest payments over the year, the accounts show.

The company, which has promised it can source for its clients everything from a pet jellyfish to a Batcave, reported turnover of £27.4m in the year to the end of April 2022. That is up from £18.6m a year earlier.

The firm had reportedly told its staff it expected to make a £2.4m profit in the year to April 2022, which would have been its highest in a decade.

In its 2019 accounts, Quintessentially admitted to making £7m in accounting errors and paying out £1.4m in unlawful dividends. BDO resigned as auditor in 2023 and was replaced by smaller accountancy firm, Sopher & Co.