Entrepreneur Richard Harpin is £66 million better off after selling just five per cent of his stake in home repairs firm HomeServe.

But the 46-year-old tycoon said he was still looking forward to 5am starts for work – continuing to commute daily from his home in North Yorkshire to the Walsall firm, where he remains chief executive.

Mr Harpin’s massive windfall comes 17 years after he set up HomeServe in Walsall – the firm which sponsors Premier League club West Bromwich Albion.

Today the company, which provides emergency service insurance cover for domestic household disasters, is worth £1.4 billion.

He said: “Nothing has changed. As long as the board believe that I am doing a good job, I will continue to do the job.

“I have no plans for the money other than to diversify my financial portfolio. My focus is on increasing the value of my remaining £175 million, 12 per cent, stake in Homeserve.

“I still get out of bed at 5am to be driven down to Walsall from my home in Yorkshire, go to my gym in Lichfield, and get to the office by 8.50am.

“I absolutely love the job. I have got all I need, I have no plans to spend the money.”

Mr Harpin uses his helicopter to travel back home to Yorkshire from the Midlands.

“I used to do the journey morning and evening, two-and-a-half hours in the car each way, but now I get to see my young children.”

The Black Country group has mushroomed since 1993, when Mr Harpin launched the business with just £100,000, to a 1,500-strong workforce.

He said the business had survived a tricky launch in the early stages.

“In the first year, it was all about trying to find the big idea and getting the business established.

‘‘At one point, South Staffordshire Water nearly closed the business down. Now it is nice to know that we have got some great people working in the business. It is growing strongly.”

Huddersfield-born Mr Harpin was inspired as a boy by Lord Hanson who travelled by helicopter to visit his parents in the area.

He set up his first business, a mail order fishing tackle company, at 15, and by the age of 20 had launched five companies, including a student newspaper and a property lettings agency.

Homeserve this week announced a 13 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to £21.3 million.

The Walsall group said the number of policies held by its customers in Britain and overseas had grown by six per cent to 7.2 million in the first half.

Growth in the US was particularly high, with gross policy sales jumping by 36 per cent to about 800,000, following its recent acquisition of the US service contract business of National Gold Energy Services.

The FTSE 250 group also operates in France, Spain and Italy.

Analysts at Panmure Gordon said the results were in line with its expectations but downgraded its verdict from ‘‘buy’’ to ‘‘hold’’ following Mr Harpin’s share sell-off, which it said was likely to dampen immediate investor enthusiasm.