Sainsbury’s swings to full year loss
Sainsbury’s has posted a full year statutory pre-tax loss of £261 million after it incurred £485 million worth of Covid-19 related costs and sold less fuel during the pandemic.
This was despite retail sales climbing by 7.8% to £28.8 billion when fuel was excluded.
In the year to 6 March, grocery and general merchandise sales increased by 7.8% and 8.3% respectively, although clothing sales dropped by 8.5%. Meanwhile, group sales declined by 0.2%.
Sainsbury’s said the year’s increased costs related to paying vulnerable staff who were isolating during the pandemic, staff absence and protecting staff and customers in stores.
Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s chief executive, said the supermarket’s performance had been heavily influenced by the pandemic. Looking ahead, he added: “We have a bold three-year plan to put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s and drive improved performance. We are transforming the way we work and I am encouraged by how all of our teams have responded and the early momentum and performance towards our plan.
“Like our customers, we are all looking forward to things feeling more normal over the coming months and getting excited about a summer of celebration, but we are also cautious about the economic outlook. While there is much that we cannot predict in the year ahead, we are absolutely focused on delivering for our customers and shareholders.”
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