Tesco has reported a record Christmas across its business but warned annual coronavirus-related costs are on track to hit £810m. The UK's largest retailer which, like rivals, has benefited from its essential status during the COVID-19 pandemic, said it outperformed the market during each week of the crucial festive season. It revealed a 6.1% rise in comparable sales over the 19 weeks to 9 January, rising to 8.1% in the Christmas period with food sales accounting for the bulk of the increase. Image: Tesco said it delivered 400 million items to customers over Christmas The industry has invested heavily in delivery capabilities during lockdown and other coronavirus restrictions. Tesco said it completed seven million online orders over the Christmas season with sales up by more than 80% over the 19 weeks. But it reported that COVID-19 costs, including from an increased level of staff absences, continued to prove a drag on profitability. It said that it expected the cost burden for its current financial year to March to top £810m - an increase of £85m on its last estimate. The retailer also moved to reassure customers that, on top of the pandemic disruption, it was also navigating ...read more...