Morrisons took a £155m hit in costs to make their stores Covid safe for staff and customers, but saw a surge in sales.
In the six months to 2 August pre-tax profits slipped by 25.3% to £148m. The supermarket chain said the costs were partly offset by £93m from the government’s business rate holiday.
Like-for-like sales increased by 8.7%, excluding fuel which was buoyed by online growth.
Morrisons are “expecting and planning for profit growth in half two” as strong grocery sales continued, said chief executive David Potts.
Potts added, “From the start of the pandemic we stepped up and put the company’s assets at the disposal of the country to help feed the nation.
“Morrisons is at the heart of local communities and responded quickly when it mattered most, and we are very grateful for the British public’s appreciation of all the vital work our colleagues are doing.
“We are now looking forward to holding on to what we created in the first half, building on our colleagues’ inspiration and innovation, and sustaining the momentum of a broader, stronger Morrisons.”