Frozen food retailer Iceland has today announced that its 22,000 members of staff will share a £14.6 million pay rise, with delivery staff receiving the largest average increase in salaries.
Basic pay for all employees will rise by five per cent as the company’s pay structure is simplified by the abolition of lower pay for staff under the age of 18 and the introduction of a new premium rate for all stores within the M25.
Home delivery staff, who have seen their hourly pay rates grow by 49.8 per cent in the last six years, will see an average pay increase of 13.1 per cent and a maximum rise of 22.1 per cent.
Store staff will benefit from an average pay increase of 6.3 per cent, with a maximum increase of 45.5 per cent, as the grocer rewards its staff after a successful 12 months of trading.
CEO of Iceland Malcolm Walker commented: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to reward our staff with these inflation-beating pay increases, which are richly deserved.
“Since my colleagues and I returned to Iceland in 2005 we have made great strides in improving staff morale and working conditions, and significantly increasing pay rates.”
Net profits before tax at Iceland increased 14.8 per cent year-on-year to £155.5 million in the 52 weeks to March 25th 2011, with like-for-like trading jumping 2.1 per cent over the same period.
EBITDA was up two per cent to £187.9 million, overall sales rose by 5.9 per cent to £2.39 billion and the group was effectively debt free at its year end, making it an acquisition target for other UK grocers.
A number of larger supermarkets, including Morrisons and Asda, are reportedly interested in buying at least part of the business, which is being sold by creditors to the failed bank and majority shareholder in Iceland, Landsbanki.
Walker told Retail Gazette earlier this year that he is keen to become majority shareholder of the company and does not want to see the retailer broken up.
He added: “Iceland has achieved excellent results over the last six years and key to this has been the outstanding performance of our staff. We are very happy for them to share in our continuing success.”