Co-op costs expected to increase by £200m due to Covid-19

co-op steve murrells covid-19
Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells said each part of the business has been affected by the outbreak of the virus
// The Co-op expects to face a £200m bill due to Covid-19
// CEO Steve Murrells said no part of business has been left unaffected by the pandemic

The Co-op has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is expected to increase its costs by more than £200 million.

However, it expects the uplift to be partly offset by more food sales and the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s business rates holiday.

Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells said each part of the business has been affected by the outbreak of the virus.


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In the year to January 4, the grocery retailer saw its food revenue increase by three per cent to £7.5 billion.

On a like-for-like basis, sales increased by 1.9 per cent to mark six consecutive years of like-for-like revenue growth for the business.

Underlying operational profit came in at £283 million.

During the year, the Co-op opened 79 new stores, refitted 152 shops and extended ten.

It also piloted a home delivery service from Co-op stores which includes same-day services across 100 towns and cities.

In addition, the retailer launched 554 new products and improved more than 1000 existing lines in the year.

“The Co-op made further financial progress through 2019, showing that co-operation is working,” Murrells said.

“While we didn’t know it at the time, that performance set us up well to withstand the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and to enable us to support the communities we operate in.”

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