John Lewis announced this morning that all its staff will receive a bonus of 10% of their annual salary, despite profits at the department store chain slipping 10.9% to £305.5m.
John Lewis staff to receive 10% bonus
The group said profits before tax and exceptional items were down “in line with expectations” as a result of higher pension charges arising from “volatility in the market” and lower property profits.
Operating profit excluding property profits at John Lewis edged up 0.7% for the 52 weeks to January 30.
Gross sales at John Lewis were up 2.8% for the year to £4.5bn, while like-for-like sales were up 3.1%.
Online sales were up 17% for the year at the group, while shop sales fell 1%.
Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of John Lewis Partnership, which includes supermarket chain Waitrose, said the group delivered “a healthy trading performance” and increased market share in “challenging conditions”.
“Although profit before tax and exceptionals was down by 10.9% on last year, that was entirely due to higher pension charges arising from volatility in the market-driven assumptions, and lower property profits. Excluding these, our profits were around 7% up on last year which, together with a strengthening balance sheet, represents good progress over the year.”
He added: “In John Lewis we achieved sales growth and market share gains in fashion, home and electricals, and home technology, and an increase in profits. Online sales growth was especially strong at 17%, and although sales in shops were down 1%, our results were very much a result of the effective combination of shops and online, demonstrated by the fact that more than three-quarters of our customers made a purchase from one of our shops.”