Business World

Sunday 20 October 2019

John Lewis Partnership cuts staff bonus again as annual profits at retail giant plunge

John Lewis Photo: PA
John Lewis Photo: PA

Alys Key

Staff at the John Lewis Partnership will see their bonuses cut for the sixth consecutive year as the retail giant revealed a slump in annual profits.

The group said it will reduce the renowned bonus to 3pc of annual salary, with 83,000 partners sharing out a pot worth £44.7m, down from £74m the previous year.

It has cut the bonus for six years running now, and the latest figure is down from 5pc last year.

The partnership, which includes upmarket supermarket Waitrose, warned in January that it might have to axe the renowned payout for the first time since 1953 as it battles challenging trading conditions.

It came as the group saw profit before tax, exceptionals and bonus plummet 45.4pc to £160m.

While overall revenue climbed 1pc to £10.3bn for the period ending January 26, operating profits were down sharply due to challenges at John Lewis.

Operating profit at the department store fell by 56pc to £114.7m due to weaker home sales, tighter margins, higher IT costs and the cost of new shops.

Like-for-like sales at the brand were down 1.4pc.

In contrast, operating profit at Waitrose recovered, climbing 18pc to £203.2m. The supermarket's like-for-like sales jumped 1.3pc.

Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said: "In line with expectations set out in June, our Partnership profits before exceptionals have finished substantially lower in what has been a challenging year, particularly in non-food."

He warned that trading conditions are set to remain challenging in 2019, but that the partnership was "confident in our strategic direction and customer offer across both brands".

PA Media

Also in Business