THE family business of Scottish Labour leadership hopeful Anas Sarwar has reported record revenue of £234 million in 2016.

United Wholesale (Scotland) increased revenue by three per cent in 2016 as pre-tax profits held steady at £2m.

UWS, one of Scotland’s leading cash and carry businesses, was established by former Labour MP Mohammed Sarwar and has been run by his son, and Anas’ brother, Asim as managing director for a decade.

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Since announcing his bid to lead Scottish Labour, Mr Sarwar has come under scrutiny over how much he earns from the business through shareholder dividends.

Analysis: Anas Sarwar's political ambitions should not overshadow brother Asim's success

Last month Mr Sarwar said he had placed his shares, worth almost £5m, in a trust for his children and had stopped taking a dividend from the firm when he was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016.

Based on his shareholding, Mr Sarwar would have received a pro-rata dividend for the current financial year of around £5,000.

Company accounts for the 2016 calendar year show that UWS paid a total dividend of £233,632.

Writing in accounts newly filed at Companies House, Asim Sarwar said in spite of increased competition the firm was pleased to report increased growth.

This was aided by the integration of the M9 Cash and Carry, which was acquired in 2015.

“Operating profit has improved slightly on the previous 12 months which re-affirms our continuing policy of investing in additional staff and infrastructure and a strong focus in investing in our customers to increase our symbol group operation,” said Mr Sarwar.

Analysis: Anas Sarwar's political ambitions should not overshadow brother Asim's success

The company operates Day Today and U-Save “symbol”, or chain of convenience stores.

The Day Today symbol group has been run by the business since 2005. In 2014, it also launched the entry-level U-Save chain.

Revenue has grown by more than £20m in the last three years in spite of competition intensifying. In addition to the growth of Aldi and Lidl, retailers buying stock from UWS have been impacted by the expansion of Tesco and Sainsbury’s into the convenience market.

Yet Mr Sarwar said the company’s principal risk was a reduction in disposable income. He noted to mitigate against this, the business had tightened and strengthened all credit control procedures in order to minimise exposure to doubtful debts while maintaining adequate reserves.

This helped it grow the gross profit margin to 5.5 per cent from 4.79 per cent.

The company was established in its present format, when United Wholesale was split in 2001 after Mohammed Sarwar and his brother Ramzan had different visions for the company. The Sarwar family owns United Wholesale (Scotland), based at Maxwell Road in Pollockshields, while the Ramzan family owns United Wholesale (Grocers), based at Springburn.

Analysis: Anas Sarwar's political ambitions should not overshadow brother Asim's success

Last year, UWG reported pre-tax profits of £735,846 on revenue of £124.4m.

United Wholesale (Scotland) employed an average of 282 staff in 2016, up from 252 the previous year. Staff costs were £6.4m, including £162,580 in director emoluments.