The Co-operative is to pay out £50.4m to its members in a share payout.

The payout is up from £38.8m the previous year.

Members receive cash based on the points they earn at any of the company’s businesses, including food, travel, pharmacy and banking.

Based on the group’s profits of £402m, the value of each point earned during 2009 was 2p.

Many of the members have elected to give some of the payout to charity, meaning £1.6m will go directly to charity groups working with local communities.

Patrick Allen, director of marketing at The Co-operative Group, said: “It is only right that our members, who ultimately own and control the business, share in our success.

“As a member the points quickly add up. Someone spending £20 a week in our food stores takes a £1,500 holiday with our travel business and buys a funeral plan would earn £85.80 in the course of a year.”