'Horsemeat' raid: men bailed
Iceland chief executive Malcolm Walker has attacked local authorities for driving down the quality of food as the horsemeat scandal continues.
Mr Walker told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: “Supermarkets shouldn’t be blamed. British supermarkets have got a fantastic reputation for food safety.
“If we’re going to blame somebody, let’s start with local authorities because there’s a whole side of this industry which is invisible, that’s the catering industry.
“Schools, hospitals, it’s a massive business for cheap food and local authorities award contracts based purely on one thing: price.”
Frozen food retailer Iceland has announced record profits today, but admits its business is facing tough competition from money-off vouchers given by supermarket rivals.
The group, which has a headquarters in Wrexham, saw profits rose 18.5% to £184.3 million for the year to March 30
Founder Malcolm Walker, who recently bought back the company in a £1.5 billion deal, said underlying sales had been "pretty flat" since the year end as supermarkets stepped up their promotions
Iceland now has 814 stores across the UK and employs 24,000 staff.
Iceland management buyout
Iceland retail boss Malcolm Walker today led a £1.45 billion deal to buy back the frozen food chain he founded more than 40 years ago.
The Flintshire-based business was bought back from its creditors, the collapsed Icelandic bank Landsbanki.
Mr Walker and his senior management team already held 23% of the business but will now have full operational and board control
– Malcolm Walker
I am utterly delighted that we have been able to conclude a deal that ensures a secure, independent future for this great British company.