Sainsbury’s defers dividends as it braces for Covid-19 profit impact of over £500m

30 April 2020 (Last Updated April 30th, 2020 11:01)

After a successful Q3 (Christmas) trading period, Sainsbury’s was likely feeling optimistic about 2020 but the arrival of Covid-19 has, as with all of its multi-sector rivals, upended plans as it looks to cope with soaring grocery demand (+12% for seven weeks to 25 April) while mitigating losses across Sainsbury’s non-food (-22%) and the clothing (-53%) divisions.

Because of the unprecedented disruption, Sainsbury’s now expects around a £500m+ impact on profit for the year, and has made the decision to forego its full-year dividend. This comes in sharp contrast to biggest rival Tesco, who moved ahead with a £635m dividend following its own recent results.

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