UK firms accused of profiteering as vast study finds margins rose 30% post-pandemic

Unite union study of 17,000 companies shows how sectors from energy to banking, vet chains to car dealerships profited from inflation crisis

Thousands of UK companies have exploited their corporate power to increase profit margins since the pandemic, redistributing wealth from employees to employers and shareholders, according to the biggest study yet of data since 2019.

A trawl through the accounts of 17,000 companies by the trade union Unite found pre-tax profit margins were 30% higher on average in 2022 compared with the average across 2018 and 2019. Post-tax margins were on average 20% higher.

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