Tesco hails ‘record’ Christmas but Covid-19 will cost it over £800m

Tesco hails ‘record’ Christmas as online sales jump 80% – but warns Covid will cost it over £800m this year

  • Tesco’s UK like-for-like sales rose 8.1% in six weeks to 9 January  
  • It saw 80% rise in online sales in 19 week period after ‘unprecedented’ demand 
  • Pandemic to cost it an extra £85m, taking year total to £810m 

Tesco hailed a ‘record’ Christmas thanks to an ‘unprecedented’ boom in online sales, but warned Covid-19 related costs would jump by more than £800million this year. 

Britain’s biggest supermarket said demand for its ‘Finest’ range helped UK like-for-like sales rising 8.1 per cent during the six weeks to January 9 as customers treated themselves during the festive season. 

Sales for the wider 19 week period rose by 7.2 per cent. However, it now expects the pandemic to cost it an extra £85million, taking the total estimate to £810million for the full-year.   

‘Record’ Christmas: Tesco said it delivered seven million Christmas orders, with online sales growing by more than 80 per cent over the 19 weeks

Tesco shares dipped 1 per cent to 239p in early trade on Thursday.  

Tesco said it delivered seven million Christmas orders, as ‘unprecedented’ demand for online groceries helped online sales growing by more than 80 per cent over the 19 weeks.

Its large stores have seen sales grow strongly as customers favour bigger but less frequent shopping trips.

But its wholesale arm, Booker, has been hit by lockdowns, with sales falling 8.3 per cent in the period.

In the update to the stock market, the group also said its ‘comprehensive preparations and our strong relationships with suppliers’ have allowed it to maintain strong levels of availability during the Brexit transition period.

Chief executive Ken Murphy said: ‘Our focus on looking after our customers, including delivering record availability, robust safety measures and great value, has enabled us to maintain strong momentum through the Christmas period, outperforming the market every week.

‘We delivered a record Christmas across all of our formats and channels.’