Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The positive results have increased the share dividend by 12 per cent to 9.2 pence – ammunition that will help the board persuade shareholders to reject the “unsolicited and unwelcome” advances of property speculator Jack Petchy, who owns a 22 per cent stake in the company.

The recreational potential of Mallett’s two London properties, 2 Davies Street and 141 New Bond Street, is believed to be of interest to Mr Petchy, who recently submitted a tender offer of 225 pence per share through his investment company Trefick Ltd, in an attempt to buy another seven per cent of the company.

“We have advised shareholders that we believe Mallett to be worth much more than that, in fact the company was quoted at 230 pence on the stock exchange this week,” said chief executive Lanto Synge. “The likelihood of Mr Petchy succeeding is rather slim.”

Mr Synge ascribed the success of the company last year to “hard work, a good team and a good deal of fortune”. He said that he was looking forward to the company opening their new showrooms on Madison Avenue, New York, in April, “though the business will always be based in London”, he said.