By Sabela Ojea
Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC reported Thursday a decline in pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 due to higher direct costs linked to Covid-19, and said its guidance is unchanged.
The British grocer posted a pretax profit for the six months ended Aug. 1 of 82 million pounds ($112.9 million) compared with GBP145 million for the same period a year earlier.
The London-listed company said it booked GBP41 million of Covid-19 direct costs, and a GBP80 million lost profit in cafes, fuel and food-to-go.
Revenue rose to GBP9.05 billion from GBP8.73 billion for the year-earlier period, it added.
On a like-for-like basis, first-half sales excluding fuel and VAT fell 0.3%, having risen 8.7% in the year-earlier period.
The board didn’t declared an interim dividend on account of the takeover offers from Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC and the consortium led by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Fortress Investment Group LLC.
“Assumptions for the second half include significantly lower lost profit, minimal further direct Covid-19 costs, and mitigation of potential sustained cost increases in the supply chain,” Wm. Morrison said.
Write to Sabela Ojea at [email protected]; @sabelaojeaguix