The plummeting profits are mainly due to the additional £290 million in costs linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. A large contributor is an increase in staff absences, as well as the £230 million impact of handing its business rates relief back to the Treasury.
Like-for-like sales (excluding fuel and VAT) rose by 8.6% thanks to strong grocery demand, with the final quarter seeing 9% growth. Full-year revenue was up by only 0.4% to £17.6 billion.
However, Morrisons’ online sales tripled during the year and its capacity jumped five-fold.