In April, the supermarket giant reported a loss despite enjoying a boost to sales thanks to its status as an essential retailer during lockdown. Coronavirus-related costs and a major restructuring ate into profits.
The firm has capitalised on the accelerated shift to digital with online grocery sales doubling during the year, however it may find the going tougher as hospitality gets back to something resembling normality.
Ahead of this week’s trading update, Susannah Streeter senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, noted: “With the economy opening back up, the nation’s drift back to dining out might eat into its revenues.
“ONS figures showed that there was a 5.7 per cent fall in retail food sales in May, and as shoppers fill up fewer baskets, there is likely to be further competition on price, which could affect margins going forward.”