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From £32m to £269,000: Was huge fall in Robbie Williams’s income the real reason he rejoined Take That?

By Andrew Buckwell

He is one of pop’s most successful solo stars and is worth an estimated £80  million.

But Robbie Williams may have had more than musical motives when he rejoined Take That in July.

New figures suggest that his earnings from recording and touring dipped significantly in 2009, even though he released a solo album, Reality Killed The Video Star, at the end of that year.

Income from his business, The In Good Company Co, which was set up in 2002 to handle his recording and tour revenues, fell from a high of £32 million in 2006 to just £269,566 in 2009.

The company’s cash reserves dropped from £1.6 million in 2008 to £800,000 and profits from £708,000 to £555,000.

Williams’ music publishing business, Farrell Music, recorded losses of £536,000, while another of his companies, Little Youth, posted a loss of £65,000. Only the firm Robbiewilliams.com recorded a healthy profit of £400,000.

But while the star may not be as popular as in his heyday, he is far from impoverished. Industry sources point out that the new figures do not include his earnings from other sources, including the sale of merchandise, and said the figures reflected the ups and downs of a pop star’s income between albums.

One said that the £80 million deal he signed with EMI Records in 2002, the biggest in British record history, was now at an end, so the accounts no longer included advances from the record company.

The source added that Mr Williams, 36, was now being pursued by ‘every major record company’ but has yet to sign a new deal.

Moreover, his reunion with Take That is expected to net him £15 million from the release of the band’s new album, Progress, and next summer’s tour, the first to feature all five band members for 16 years.

Reunited: Robbie with bandmates Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange and Mark Owen

In its first year, the In Good Company Co reported sales worth £34.9 million in what was a highly successful period for Williams.

The singer, whose solo hits include Angels, Let Me Entertain You and Rock DJ, enjoyed peaks in his earnings in 2004 and 2006 as he released and toured with his Greatest Hits and Rudebox albums.

When he signed his deal with EMI Mr Williams declared: ‘I’m rich beyond my wildest dreams.’

But the singer, who married American Ayda Field, 31, in August, later said: ‘Money is nothing to do with happiness. Sometimes I feel like cashing everything in and giving it all away.’

LOW POINT: Robbie Williams saw a significant drop in his earnings in 2009