Waitrose reports first statutory loss in 10 years

Waitrose reported a statutory loss of £2.3m for last year, attributing the supply chain crisis and Covid-19 related costs to its annual accounts being heavily impacted.

According to filed accounts on Companies House, Waitrose revealed its revenues were down 0.9% to £6.8bn, for the period ended 29 January 2022.

According to the grocer, its profit margins have been “significantly diluted” by the “inflationary pressures within supply chains, higher levels of absence due to Covid-19 and higher fulfilment costs as a result of the increased levels of online trade”.

Waitrose has not previously made a statutory loss in the last decade.

READ MORE: Waitrose boss calls for government help with cost of living crisis

However, the supermarket also reported a decline in revenues as customers demand softened in the second half of the year compared to the previous year, as much of the UK “returned” to more normal shopping patterns and the hospitality sector rebounded”.

This follows the retailer having to pay £28m in Partnership bonuses, which was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Waitrose, despite rising inflation and energy prices it remained “focused on investing significantly in our Partnership Plan to transform and grow our business.”

Its profit was also impacted by its £90m investment in 18 shop refurbishments, alongside expanding  its e-commerce capacity, and the opening of 10 new Waitrose cafes.

As a result, Waitrose’s partnership with Deliveroo resulted in £1m being generated in weekly sales.

The company added that it plans to continue to invest in its store estate, with another 23 major refurbishments planned for 2022/23.

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