Supermarket company Tesco is giving its staff a £220m (US$405m) bonus, thought to be the biggest ever reward handout from a British company, according to the London Evening Standard newspaper.

Almost 150,000 employees will share in the windfall, receiving about £4,000 each, after the company made record profits last year. Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy gets £2m, taking his total package to £3m this year.

"It's been a great performance by the whole team and, as these figures show, everybody shares in that success," a Tesco spokesman said.

Tesco last month became the first British retailer to push profits through the £2bn barrier.