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UK supermarket profit Tesco skyrockets despite pandemic

Tesco multiplied its net profit by six in the financial year 2020-2021 thanks to the sale of assets and despite the cost of the pandemic, the British supermarket giant announced on Wednesday.

Net profit amounted to 6.14 billion pounds ($ 8.44 billion) for the year ended February, compared to 971 million pounds in 2019/20, a statement from the UK industry leader said.

The results benefited from 5 billion pounds ($ 6.89 billion) of exceptional items related to the sale of its businesses in Thailand, Malaysia and Poland.

Excluding transfers, its profitability declined slightly due to the cost of the health crisis, which amounted to 892 million pounds (1.23 billion dollars).

This burden is explained by the absence of sick or isolated employees, the hiring of temporary staff, the purchase of protective equipment and the investment in online sales.

“Tesco has shown incredible strength and agility during the pandemic,” during which “we have doubled the size of our online business,” said CEO Ken Murphy.

Supermarkets have benefited from an unprecedented influx of customers since the start of the health crisis, with the closure of restaurants, pubs and school and company canteens.

Tesco now expects sales to be slightly lower following the lifting of restrictions in the UK.

Bars and restaurants reopened on Monday and should be able to welcome customers indoors from May 17.

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