Sir Chris Hoy, Britain’s most successful Olympian with six gold medals, is proving to have the Midas Touch in business too, with the company that looks after his commercial interests making a profit of just under £1 million in its latest financial year.
According to its latest accounts, Hoy’s company, Trackstars Limited, turned a profit of £980,000 in the year to 30 June 2014, reports the Edinburgh Evening News – around 40 times more than the £24,000 a year he received in Lottery funding prior to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Hoy won three gold medals there to add to the one he had clinched at Athens in 2004, and added a further two in London three years ago before announcing his retirement in 2013.
Since then, he has launched a motor racing career with Nissan, a range of bikes sold through Evans and cycle clothing in association with Vulpine and was also an ambassador for last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Unsurprisingly he is also in demand as a public speaker, and also works with a number of charities – but Hoy, who became a father last year, has also found time to start yet another sideline, this one authoring children’s books.
While Hoy withdrew more than £1 million in dividends from his business between 2009 and 2011, he has taken none since then and his company has assets of £1.4 million.
The newspaper notes that three years ago, Hoy’s finances came under the spotlight when it was revealed that he had received a loan of £325,000 from the business.
However, he insisted everything was above board, saying: “Everything I have done is as a UK resident and is UK taxable and not offshore. “The dividends that I took to repay the loan were in fact taxed at the highest rate.”
He added: “I saw an opportunity to buy property and with the guidance of my advisers I borrowed money from my company to do so. The loan was repaid shortly thereafter by declaration of fully taxable dividends.”
Given that track cyclists even of Hoy’s stature have miniscule on-bike earning power compared to the stars of the road, few would begrudge Hoy the ability to cash in on his fame in his retirement.
But his income is also dwarfed by the sums pulled in by some other Olympians; the swimmer Michael Phelps, who took his tally of gold medals to 18 in London, pulls in an estimated $10 million a year through endorsement deals with household names such as Louis Vuitton, Hilton, Procter & Gamble and Omega.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.