The retail financial year ends: who's coming out on top?

06 May 2022

Leafy green vegetables on a supermarket shelf

The NFU food business unit takes a look at retailers' end-of-year results.

As UK retailers publish their end-of-year results, the NFU food business unit has produced a short summary of each retailer’s performance.

We will be analysing each retailer’s financial results as they are released over the coming weeks and updating this page to see how each retailer has performed in the market.


Still at the top but cautious for the future

  • With revenue increasing and market share gained, Tesco reported strong trading results for 2021-2022.
  • In the 52 weeks ending 26 February, group sales (excluding fuel) increased by 2.5% to £54.8bn, topping the 'exceptional' growth experienced during the pandemic.
  • Tesco reported they have made good strategic progress on driving value for customers with their Aldi Price Match being extended to 650 additional lines and their Low Everyday Prices being relaunched on 1600 lines.
  • The retailer has a cautious outlook to 2022-2023 due to unprecedented levels of inflation, intensifying competition in the market and the changes in consumer behaviour as we come out of the pandemic.


Trading strengthens and sales rise

  • Waitrose & Partners have reported sales of £7.5bn for their 2021-2022 financial year, which was up 1% like-for-like on the previous year.
  • Trade was strong due to the retailer outperforming the grocery market by 1% over the Christmas period. This was driven by 14% rise in online sales compared to the previous year.
  • Waitrose has strengthened its trading through growing routes to new customers via partnerships with Shell, Deliveroo, Mindful Chef and many others.
  • Looking to 2022, Waitrose states it will be working with suppliers to keep low prices and offer savings on products that customers buy the most through the revamped MyWaitrose loyalty scheme.


Profits soar but inflationary pressures cause concern

  • Sainsburys reported an underlying profit before tax of £730m for the 2021-2022 financial year, which was a 104% boost on the previous year.
  • Grocery sales were up for the second year in a row, which reflects the sustained demand for in-home consumption since the start of the pandemic.
  • Sainsburys stated that customer behaviours instore and online were continuing to normalise and customer satisfaction has remained ahead of their direct competitors.
  • Looking to 2022-2023, Sainsburys state it is currently in a good position financially. However, the retailer has warned of lower upcoming profit resulting from inflationary pressures and the cost of living crisis.

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