FILE PHOTO: Branding is seen exterior a Co-op grocery store in London, Britain, September 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (1) – Britain’s Co-operative (42TE.L), the supermarkets to funerals group, warned on Friday extra prices related to the coronavirus crisis could possibly be as much as 275 million kilos ($340 million).

The proprietor of the nation’s sixth largest grocery store chain, mentioned the additional prices would partially be offset by elevated meals gross sales and the enterprise charges vacation from the federal government.

Estimated in a variety of 200-275 million kilos, the extra prices embody will increase in payroll, logistics, retailer bills, funding in workers security and the affect of social distancing measures on the kind and measurement of funerals the Co-op carries out.

Earlier this month, grocery store chief Tesco (TSCO.L) estimated a hit of as much as 925 million kilos from the prices of coping with the pandemic. No. 2 participant Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) is because of report outcomes subsequent Thursday.

The Co-op, owned by its members, operates over 2,600 meals shops, greater than 1,000 funeral properties, and offers merchandise to over 5,100 different shops. Using over 63,000, it additionally has pursuits in insurance coverage, authorized providers and well being.

“Towards the backdrop of COVID-19 we are going to assessment the technique we had embedded throughout our companies, aligning business and neighborhood targets,” mentioned chief govt Steve Murrells.

For the 12 months to Jan. 4, 2020, its whole revenues grew 7% to 10.9 billion kilos, pushed by a continued robust efficiency from its meals enterprise, which has delivered six years of like-for-like development. Headline underlying pretax revenue rose 50% to 50 million kilos.

The Co-op practically collapsed in 2013 after a 1.5 billion-pound funding “gap” was present in its banking operation. It has since recovered strongly, aided by the shift in Britons’ grocery buying habits towards extra frequent journeys to smaller comfort shops – the mainstay of its enterprise. It now not has a stake within the financial institution.

Reporting by James Davey; Modifying by Mark Potter