Crispin Odey’s share of the profit of his hedge fund has fallen by £4m, as various bets made by the Brexit-backing billionaire against the UK economy and British businesses failed to pay off.
Odey collected £1.5m from Odey Asset Management in the year to 5 April, a 72% decline on the £5.5m he made in the previous 12 months, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
The hedge fund he founded in 1991 reported a 52% fall in profit to £8.8m, as Odey’s bets against the pound and a raft of UK retailers failed to immediately bear fruit.
Odey Asset Management has declared £149m of short positions against UK shops, banks, estate agents and property companies.
However, the fund has performed strongly in recent months, as the pound has fallen further and the share prices of a number of British businesses Odey bet against have collapsed.
His fund has gained more than 50% so far this year, including a return of 7% in October, making it one of the world’s best-performing hedge funds, according to the Financial Times.
Last month, the fund made millions from a bet against the shopping centre owner Intu, shares in which plunged 42% after a proposed takeover collapsed. Odey also benefited from a £33m bet against Debenhams, which has had an 85% decline in its shares over the past year.
Odey was one of the most prominent supporters of the drive to leave the EU and donated almost £900,000 to pro-Brexit campaigns. He placed huge bets against the pound and government bonds in the run-up to the June 2016 referendum and made an estimated £220m profit when the pound collapsed following the leave victory.
The day after the vote, he told the BBC: “There’s that Italian expression – ‘Il mattino ha l’oro in bocca’ (the morning has gold in its mouth) and never has one felt so much that idea as this morning.”
Odey has boasted that each day of Brexit-related political crisis is a “good day” for him and his hedge fund. “I have had a good day,” he told the Times last month, on a day when the pound fell 2%. “Bad days tend to be good days for us.”
He has repeatedly called for Theresa May to resign as prime minister and said he would “love” Boris Johnson to replace her.