Weekly update w/c 05.10: A tale of two sectors, retailers enjoy positive financial returns while fears of job losses continue for the hospitality sector

Six months after lockdown began in the UK, Ocado has seen revenues increase by 52% in the third quarter of 2020 and share price more than double since March (a trend that we have been following on our covid-19 share price tracker since May). 

Tesco has also reported good financial results with pre-tax profits up 28.7% in the six months leading up to September (compared to 2019) as its own capacity for online ordering and delivery services has doubled in response to the pandemic.  

In contrast, the hospitality sector’s woes continue with Greene King the latest to announce job losses (800) and closures (79 pubs and restaurants), blaming the end of the furlough scheme and the 10pm pub closure ruling in England. 

More bad news for the sector has come from Scotland with a temporary 6pm closure rule introduced this week and the possibility of further temporary local closures in England. 

With obesity now clearly linked to the severity of illness from Covid-19, the government has released the latest results from the voluntary sugar reduction programme for supermarkets and the hospitality sector.  An overall reduction of 3%, against a target of 20%, has led to calls from some for stronger regulation similar to the sugar drinks industry levy.

View our COVID-19 tracker in full.