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Arnold Clark director faces £64.8m tax bill after dealer group’s performance rockets

  • Lady Philomena Clark and her family are facing a multi-million pound tax bill
  • Sunday Times Tax List ranks Lady Clark as 18th largest taxpayer in the UK
  • She joins the list in the top 20 alongside Lord Sugar and Sir James Dyson

Time 7:36 am, January 28, 2022

Arnold Clark’s largest shareholder is facing a tax bill of £64.8m after the UK’s most profitable car dealer group’s performance soared in 2021.

Lady Philomena Clark and her family will be writing a cheque for the huge sum making them the 18th largest taxpayer in the UK, according to the Sunday Times.

In this weekend’s Sunday Times Tax List, Lady Clark is listed alongside Lord Sugar and Sir James Dyson in the Top 20.


The Clark family’s tax liabilities follow a stunning year for the car dealership group.

Arnold Clark – led by chief executive Eddie Hawthorne – topped the Car Dealer Top 100 list of the most profitable dealers in the UK with an EBITDA profit of £354.2m for 2020.

The figure was up from an equally impressive £194.3m profit recorded in 2019.

In an exclusive video interview (which you can watch above), Hawthorne said the group’s performance for 2021 will be even better than the record year recorded in 2020.


Lady Clark is the dealer group’s chairwoman and a director and for the 2020 financial year the group did not declare a dividend on the £125.1m profit it made after tax.

Top 10 franchised graphic

Sir Arnold Clark, died in 2017, at the age of 89. He was knighted for services to the motor industry and was the first billionaire car dealer.

Listed dealer groups consistently increased their profit forecasts throughout 2021.

Combinations of retail rates relief, furlough cash and soaring used car prices have helped dealers record incredible performances in 2021. 

At the top of the Sunday Times Tax List is Denise Coates, boss of the gambling firm Bet365, and her family.

Coates faced a tax liability of £481.7m which includes the firm’s corporation tax, employer’s national insurance and gambling duties as well as the personal tax incurred on her pay.

Coates received £421.2m in salary in 2020. 

The full list will be published in this weekend’s Sunday Times.

For more on the Car Dealer Top 100, visit our dedicated section here.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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