Supermarkets are facing a political backlash after projecting bumper earnings at a time when shoppers are struggling with soaring inflation.
After strong Christmas sales, Sainsbury’s said pre-tax profits would be approaching the top end of its previous forecast of between £630 million and £690 million.
Meanwhile, market leader Tesco reiterated its forecast for operating profits of between £2.4 billion and £2.5 billion, compared with a five-year average of £2.17 billion.
What’s the inflation rate this year? 10%? 11%? So, for Tesco’s profits to stay absolutely static in real terms that £2.17 billion should be, this year, £2.38 billion, yes? £2.4 billion maybe.
And they are projected to be?
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said it was “outrageous” that supermarkets were reporting bumper profits while families “struggle to put food on the table or fill up their tanks”.
Although shoppers bought fewer goods this Christmas, food inflation of 14.4 per cent boosted sales.