Tesco has announced a fall in pre-tax profits of nearly 20% in the past year to £825 million, due to costs rising by almost £900 million due to the pandemic, reports Retail Gazette. The major increase in sales during the past 12 months was not enough to offset the spiralling extra overheads. Tesco hired almost 50,000 temporary workers during the pandemic, about 20,000 of whom have joined the retailer permanently.
Tesco said group sales excluding fuel increased by 7% to £53.4 billion for the year to February, driven by soaring online sales. In its core UK and Ireland market, Tesco’s full-year sales were up 8.6% to £48.8 billion. Online sales jumped by 77% to £6.3 billion in the UK.
Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy said: “Tesco has shown incredible strength and agility throughout the pandemic. By putting our customers and colleagues first, we have built a stronger business.”