Owner, Arcadia and BHS

Sir Philip Green

As Sir Philip Green celebrated his 60th birthday this year, the tycoon was as determined as ever to extend his Arcadia empire and is increasingly casting his net internationally.

The business has had a tougher year financially as profits fell, partly the result of a decision to absorb the 2011 VAT rise rather than pass it on to consumers.

The entrepreneur slipped down The Sunday Times Rich List this year, but there’s no need for him to worry – he and his wife are still worth an estimated £3.3bn.

Green has been scouring the globe in search of new markets for his stores. Expansion continued in the US, where he opened a store in Las Vegas in March. A shop in LA is scheduled for next year too.

But the jet-setting billionaire is especially excited about potential new markets, particularly China, where he intends to open stores.

Green expects Topshop’s global fashion appeal to be in high demand among the emerging generation of young, label-obsessed Chinese consumers.

At home, Green has continued to draw fire from critics about his tax arrangements, but there’s been positive press too – he has made headlines for promoting UK manufacturing and his interest in providing young people with the skills to find employment or set up businesses themselves. The entrepreneur has increased the quantity of goods he buys from British manufacturers and hopes to replicate the success of his Fashion Retail Academy with a similar manufacturing school.

Despite turning 60, there is no sign of Green taking a back seat, although Topman boss David Shepherd has been promoted to the new role of chief operating officer for trading at Arcadia.

Green frequently emphasises Arcadia’s status as a family-owned and run company and seems likely to be occupying the boardroom in Berners Street for the foreseeable future, ­continuing to exert a strong influence over the retail industry.