More than 300 jobs are being axed at Tesco as the supermarket chain’s profits take a hit amid the cost of living crisis and rising inflation.
Despite the cuts, existing staff will get a pay rise of 20p from 13 November, taking workers’ hourly rate to £10.98 in London and £10.30 in the rest of the country.
Bosses at the firm, which has 3,822 stores across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, said they still plan to hire 12,500 temporary staff for the festive period.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “Last month we announced some changes to a small number of roles in our office and regional teams, to ensure our business is as simple and efficient as possible, and so we can continue to invest for our customers.
“This means a reduction of around 325 roles.”
Tesco said that it still had more than 500 vacancies available and that it would “work with colleagues to find alternative roles wherever possible”.
The news came as Tesco revealed its performance for the first half of the 2022-23 financial year.
The group posted a 10 per cent fall in underlying retail operating profits to £1.25bn for the six months to 27 August, with like-for-like UK retail sales edging 0.7 per cent higher.
It cautioned that “significant” inflation pressures and a return in shopper habits to those seen before the pandemic was being compounded by customer moves to rein in spending amid the cost of living crunch, with the group now expecting annual underlying retail earnings of between £2.4bn and £2.5bn – the lower end of previous guidance.
Ken Murphy, chief executive of Tesco, said: “We know our customers are facing a tough time and watching every penny to make ends meet.
“That’s why we’re working relentlessly to keep the cost of the weekly shop as affordable as possible, with our powerful combination of Aldi price match, low everyday prices and clubcard prices, together covering more than 8,000 products, week in, week out.
“We’re also investing significantly in our colleagues, with a further boost to pay announced today for our UK stores.”
He added: “Customers are seeking out the quality and value of our own-brand ranges as they work to make their money go further, whether they are switching from branded products, between categories or cutting back on eating out.
“As we look to the second half, cost inflation remains significant, and it is too early to predict how customers will adapt to ongoing changes in the market.”