Morrisons to give up Covid-19 business rates relief
Morrisons has committed to pay business rates for the coronavirus period in full after considering the issue for some time.
The news follows Tesco’s announcement that it will repay the £585 million worth of business rates relief it received from the UK Government and devolved administrations during the pandemic.
In a statement, Morrisons said the total amount to be paid will be £274 milion of which £230 million relates to the 2020/21 financial year. Due to the impact of the second lockdown and new tier restrictions now in place across the UK, Morrisons now expects its direct Covid-19 costs to be around £270 million, which is around £40 million more than its previous estimate.
The supermarket also said its profits have been impacted by the temporary closure of many of its in-store cafes and market street counters. However, it is still anticipating that its 2020/21 underlying pre-tax profit before exceptionals will be in line with expectations.
David Potts, Morrisons chief executive, said: “We are grateful for the Government’s swift action at the start of the pandemic which enabled the whole sector to face squarely into the challenges and disruption caused by Covid-19.
“Throughout this difficult period Morrisons has done its best work to look after our colleagues, our customers and key workers, to feed the nation, to protect both the vulnerable and our smaller suppliers and to play a full and leading role in meeting the enormous challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic brought. I’m exceptionally proud of the way that the whole business has responded.”
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