Tesco full-year profits rise as it incurs ‘significant’ coronavirus costs

Tesco bicster

Tesco has warned that the impact of coronavirus could cost its business as much as £925m as the grocer posts uplifts in full-year profits and UK sales.

Tesco has recruited more than 45,000 new colleagues since March 20 to cope with the increased pressure on its operations and sick leave taken by staff as a result of coronavirus, which triggered a 30% jump in panic buying in the first few weeks of the crisis.

Although the retailer has said that buying levels have now normalized, it estimates that due to “significant cost increases in payroll, distribution and store expenses” it will incur additional costs of between £650m and £925m in its current financial year.

However, the grocer has said that provided customer behaviour normalizes by August “it is likely that the additional cost headwinds incurred in our retail operations would be largely offset by the benefits of food volume increases, twelve months’ business rates relief in the UK and prudent operations management.”

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