Tesco Ireland may have slashed its prices in stores along the Irish border, but its bosses are set to be quizzed by a Parliamentary committee over its high profit margins.

Earlier this year Tesco executives told a committee on enterprise and small business that the group's returns in the Republic, which have never been made public, were lower than in the UK.

However, according to a document leaked to the Irish Times, the profit margin in the Republic last year was 9.3%, with a rise to 9.5% forecast for this year, compared with a margin of less than 6% elsewhere in the group.

Committee chairman William Penrose said the new information meant it would have to look at the issue of retail margins again.

"On the face of it, the figures seem to be at variance with the information given to our committee at a hearing last February," he said.

Tesco admitted the profits document published by the newspaper was drawn up internally, but claimed much of the information in it was inaccurate and out of date. It refused to identify any of the inaccuracies, however.

This week, Tesco Ireland also confirmed that up to 140 head office jobs would be lost through a voluntary redundancy programme.

"With continued investment in Ireland, including further new stores, and an expanding international business across Europe, Asia and the US, we will be offering all affected staff the opportunity of redeployment and retraining for roles elsewhere in Tesco, either in Ireland or abroad," said a Tesco spokesman.

Meanwhile, as the supermarket war triggered by Tesco Ireland's recent price-cutting blitz intensified, Musgrave chief executive Chris Martin warned of casualties in the trade.

The Irish grocery sector continued to shrink and the market would be "very tough" for the next two to three years, he said, blaming the recession and the increasingly competitive nature of the market.