UK retailer Morrisons racked up £27 million in Covid-19 costs during the first quarter of 2021, but forecasts stronger annual profits after like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 2.7% in the 14 weeks to May 9 when compared to the same period of 2020. The chain described its sales performance as “robust” despite the pandemic-related costs, which came about due to staff absence and use of marshals. Delivery sales growth was 113% on the same three-month period of 2020.
Morrisons chief executive David Potts said: “The pandemic is not yet over, but it is in retreat across Britain and there is much to be positive about as something approaching normal life begins to take shape. Our forecourts are getting busier, we are seeing encouraging recent signs of a strong rebound of food-to-go, take-away counters and salad bars, and our popular cafes will soon fully reopen. The nation has a summer of socialising and sport to look forward to and we’ll all be able to rediscover the joys of meeting up and eating well together.”