Tesco staff are reaping the rewards of two Save As You Earn (SAYE) schemes which have paid out £106 million to 45,000 staff.
With Tesco share price now over three pounds, top investors have cleared as much as £7,000.
Despite, the windfall over 74% of the retail staff have chosen to keep their shares.
Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said: “Being a shareholder in Tesco is important to so many of our staff because it gives them a personal stake in the company’s success.
“SAYE is a safe and convenient way for staff to save and have the option to buy shares. It is also one of the ways we aim to reward our people for their loyalty and continued efforts for customers, as well as being a thank you for all their hard work throughout the year.”
Staff can save between £5 and £50 per month in the three or five-year schemes.
Employees who started the scheme five years ago can buy shares at the 1999 option price of 151.00p each, while those who joined the scheme three years ago can buy shares at the 2001 price of 198.00p. Staff are then free to sell their shares at a profit or keep them as a long term investment.
The most recent three and five-year scheme to be offered to Tesco staff in October 2004 attracted over 44,800 and 24,900 applications respectively.