The founder of Specsavers has become Britain’s first female self-made billionaire.
Dame Mary Perkins and her family are worth ?1.15 billion, according to the latest edition of The Sunday Times Rich List.
The 67-year-old and her husband Douglas, 68, founded the eye-care company in 1984 and they can now boast more than 900 stores across Britain.
Born in Bristol, the businesswoman was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2007 as a recognition for her work.
Specsavers have enjoyed a 42 per cent increase in their wealth from last year, when the couple's fortune stood at ?810 million.
And the number of billionaires is increasing, too: there are 73 billionaires in this year’s list, compared with 53 last year.
That figure almost matches the record of 75 set in the pre-crisis list of 2008, when the collective wealth of the top 1,000 was ?413 billion.
And, for the first time, there are more than 100 women (105) among the wealthiest 1,000 people in the UK. More...