It should be clear by now that pandemic-induced panic buying hasn’t translated into big supermarket profits. Tesco’s (TSCO) UK and Irish sales rose by 7.7 per cent and 16.3 per cent, respectively, over its half-year period. This surge, along with £249m in business rates relief, managed to offset £533m in Covid-related costs. Tesco more than doubled its weekly online delivery capacity to 1.5m orders. In comparison, Ocado (OCDO), which last week briefly stole Tesco’s crown as the UK’s most valuable grocer, averaged 345,000 weekly orders in its 13 weeks to 30 August.
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