Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, on Thursday followed rivals in reporting buoyant Christmas trading, as pandemic restrictions meant people splashed out on celebrations at home.
The group said UK like-for-like sales rose 8.1% in the six weeks to Jan. 9.
Tesco estimated additional COVID-19 costs would be £810 million (€909.3 million) in its 2020-21 year, up from £725 million forecast in October.
But it still maintained its guidance for 2020-21 retail operating profit before exceptional items of "at least" the same level as 2019-20's, excluding the repayment of £535 million (€600.1 million) of business rates relief.
Tesco also continues to expect to report a loss for Tesco Bank of between £175 million and £200 million for the year.
Shares in the group, down 3% over the last year, closed Wednesday at 242.1 pence, valuing the business at £23.8 billion.
"“Our focus on looking after our customers, including delivering record availability, robust safety measures and great value has enabled us to maintain strong momentum through the Christmas period, outperforming the market every week," commented chief executive Ken Murphy.
"We delivered a record Christmas across all of our formats and channels. In response to unprecedented demand for online groceries, colleagues delivered over seven million orders containing more than 400 million individual items over the Christmas period."