Morrisons has said it expects to see profits recover this financial year, after it experienced a 62% decrease in pre-tax profits during 2020 due to costs brought on by the pandemic.
Last year, the ‘Big-Four’ grocer saw like-for-like sales grow by 8.6%, as consumers flocked to supermarkets throughout the pandemic.
Total revenue at Morrisons for 2020/21 was £17.6bn, up 0.4% year on year, with the group also noting that its online sales “tripled during the year”.
Nonetheless, the store saw profit-before-tax and exceptionals down 50.7% to £201m – as a result of £290m spent in Covid-19 related costs – including measures to keep customers safe and employee absences.
Morrisons also opted to return £230m of its business rates relief, another factor which was cited for profit decline.
Looking ahead, the store said it expects profits to be higher than what was achieved in 2020, granted a return to “more normal trading conditions” occurs.
David Potts, chief executive, Morrisons said: “Morrisons key workers have played a vital role for all our stakeholders during the pandemic, especially the most vulnerable in British society, and their achievements over the last year have been remarkable.
“I am delighted that we are recognising their enormous contribution by becoming the first supermarket to pay a minimum of £10 an hour to all store colleagues.”
He added: “We are also today showing our continuing gratitude and appreciation for the incredible work of other key workers in the nation, by extending our 10% discount for NHS staff for the whole of 2021. I’m pleased with the greater recognition, warmth and affection for the Morrisons brand from all corners of the nation, following a year like no other.”
“We must now look forward with hope towards better times for all, and we’re confident we can take our strong momentum into the new year, targeting profit growth and significantly lower net debt during 2021/22.”