Soaring sales of champagne and luxury stay-at-home meals
were not enough to stop Waitrose profits falling by 3%
but CEO Mark Price offered hope to shoppers by promising
prices will come down soon.
Waitrose yesterday reported a 3% drop in profits for the
last six months to ?100m, excluding gains made from
property deals, despite a 2.5% improvement in
like-for-like food sales over the period.
Total sales were up 5.5% to ?2bn.
Despite fears that consumers would desert the upmarket
group during the downturn, Waitrose reported that sales
of its premium ?As Good As Going Out? range had
increased by a third (33%), while sales of champagne
were up by 10% and prime Aberdeen Angus by 110%.
The news comes after Morrisons announced record
first-half profits of ?309m, up almost 13%, after
notching up impressive like-for-like sales growth of
Meanwhile, Price yesterday told the BBC that food prices
could finally start to come down.
?Certainly, if you look at vegetables, the prices there
are coming down,? he said. ?Wheat prices across the
world are stabilising because, generally speaking,
harvests across the world have been much better this
?It's still true to say that livestock prices are going
up [but] so as far as the consumer is concerned, what
they are going to start seeing now is deflation in some
areas and already we are seeing it in vegetables.?