Morrisons sales rise but profits hit by Covid costs

Morrisons' food in shopping basket Image copyright PA Media

Sales at Morrisons surged in the first half of its financial year but the supermarket saw profits drop because of coronavirus-related costs.

Morrisons said like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose by 8.7% in the six months to the beginning of August.

However, pre-tax profit fell by a quarter after its costs rose by £155m to deal with the pandemic, including temporary workers and staff bonuses.

It also said poor fuel sales hit income as more people worked from home.

However, Morrisons said the extra costs had been partly offset by four months of business rates relief of £93m,

In March, all UK retailers were given a one-year business rates holiday as the country entered lockdown. The decision prompted criticism because supermarkets have seen sales grow strongly during the pandemic.

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