Booths pays out £126k dividend despite rates relief

Booths paid a £126,000 dividend to its owners last year after keeping hold of its business rates relief and returning to profit.

The supermarket, often dubbed the “Waitrose of the North”, saw a 6.1 per cent rise in sales to £284.1 million in the 52 weeks to March 27.

It recorded pre-tax profits of £1.9 million, up from a £4.1 million loss the previous year.

Founded 174 years ago as a Blackpool tea shop, Booths has 27 stores and is still owned by the Booth family.

READ MORE: Business rates hurt ‘levelling up’, says Tesco boss

Chairman Edwin Booth, great-great-grandson of its founder, said: “Booths has emerged from the pandemic as a stronger business, focused on principle and purpose. 

“I would like to thank all our Booths colleagues who have remained focused on maintaining Booths as a unique and special retailer, worthy of the title, ‘The Good Grocers’.”

According to The Times, it received around £452,000 in business rates relief, but did not use the furlough scheme and covered the sick pay of self-isolating staff.

While Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Iceland and the Co-op also refused to repay taxpayer’s money, Booths was the only grocer to pay a dividend – worth £126,000 – to its owners.

However, Co-op boss Steve Murrells was criticised for pocketing a £1.35 million bonus.

A Booths spokesman said the company had been hurt by the costs of supporting staff and café closures.

“The long term business effects of Covid continue and remain unpredictable,” he said.

“The rates relief enabled Booths to make firm decisions that help to protect jobs and support suppliers, colleagues, customers and wider communities.”

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Journalists are the only people who refer to Booths as the Waitrose of the north. It is a condescending cliche.


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