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Huge Supermarket Profits on the back of spiralling food costs

15 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, South Antrim MLA Mitchel McLaughlin, Chairperson of the Assembly Finance Committee has described the announcement by supermarket giant Tesco of a 12% pretax profit - £2.8 billion as obscene at a time when household food bills are spiraling out of control.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:

"That Tesco can announce a pre-Tax profit of £2.8 billion at a time when pensioners and those dependent on benefits find it hard to make ends meet is obscene. The fact that this represents a 13% dividend increase to their shareholders signifies where Tesco's priorities lie - with delivering higher profits for their shareholders rather than deliver affordable product to the consumer as they claim to be their objective.

"The extent of their annual profits does not justify their claim that 'attempts to lower prices had been hit by increased market prices for commodities and some seasonal fresh foods' and I believe that farmers and producers would dispute this claim.

"At a time of a rapid rise in the cost of living which is hitting the most vulnerable in society I would call on supermarkets to show social responsibility by keeping the cost of essential food as low as possible even if it means smaller dividends for shareholders." ENDS

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