Aldi UK says trading is solid after 2021 earnings drop

Aldi UK says trading is solid after 2021 earnings drop

LONDON (Reuters) – The British arm of German discount company Aldi reported a 79 percent drop in 2021 operating profit but said trading had accelerated rapidly in the past six months as pandemic restrictions were lifted and the rising cost of living affected shopping habits.

Aldi, which earlier this month overtook Morrisons to become Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket group, said operating profit was 60.2 million pounds ($63.8 million) in 2021, down from 287.7 million pounds in 2020.

The decline in profits has been blamed on investment in prices, staff and COVID-19 related expenses. Sales rose 0.9% to 13.645 billion pounds.

Aldi and rival Lidl have been hurt during the pandemic by the lack of large online business, but they have attracted customers as the cost of living has been hit by the consumer crisis.

The latest industry data shows Aldi’s sales growth of 18.7%, with a market share of 9.3%, the highest in its 32-year history.

(dollar = 0.9433 pounds)

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