SUPERDRY boss Julian Dunkerton’s wealth has increased by £280 million in the past year, seeing him climb into the top 10 of The Sunday Times Rich List for the South West.
Mr Dunkerton, who co-founded SuperGroup – the parent company of fashion brand Superdry – in Cheltenham in 1985, has risen from 23rd to eighth in the South West rich list in the past year.
According to The Sunday Times’ list, his wealth now stands at £478m – up £281 million from the previous year. He is ranked 220th in the national rich list.
A Sunday Times spokesman said: “Retail success has also propelled Julian Dunkerton back up the south west Rich List.
“The Superdry brand can now be found on most high streets but it began with Dunkerton selling clothes in London from bin bags after he borrowed £2,000 from his father to start the business.
“SuperGroup is based in Cheltenham and Dunkerton’s stake in the business is worth £445 million today. Dunkerton’s overall wealth of £478 million ranks him eighth in the region after a £281 million gain in the past 12 months, up 143 per cent.”
SuperGroup, which has a base in The Runnings in Cheltenham, reported an increase in sales of 12.4 per cent to £97.8 million for the final quarter of the last financial year - January 27 to April 26.
SuperGroup began with the founding of Cult Clothing in 1985 by Mr Dunkerton and a former business partner.
The original Cult Clothing store in Cheltenham led to the creation of others across the country, many of them in university towns.
In 2003, Mr Dunkerton joined forces with designer James Holder, who had previously founded the Bench brand, to develop and create Superdry.
Following the successful introduction of Superdry into Cult Clothing stores, a second shop format, branded as Superdry and dedicated to selling Superdry products, was launched in 2004.
In the past year, Mr Dunkerton, 49, has become a partner in No 131 & Crazy Eights, a new bar, restaurant and hotel in the Promenade in Cheltenham.
He has also bought Hotel On The Park in Pittville, which has been turned into a boutique bed and breakfast called The Pitt.
Cheltenham Racecourse chairman Lord Vestey and his family remain at number five on the South West rich list, and 139th nationally.
However, the list reports that The Vestey Group’s wealth has dropped by £30 million in the past year, currently standing at £720 million.
The Vestey Group includes an international food business and significant cattle ranching and sugar cane farming interests in Brazil and elsewhere.
Sir James Dyson, the man behind the bagless vacuum cleaner, remains the richest person in the South West, according to The Sunday Times Rich List, with his fortune stable at £3 billion this year.