John Lewis profits slump in "challenging market"

In what it called a challenging market context, John Lewis & Partners said due to near constant discounting across many categories from October onwards in response to the combination of subdued demand, excess retail space and some other retailers’ distress, sales improved marginally by 0.7 percent and were down 1.4 percent on like-for-like basis. Partnership’s pre-tax profit was substantially lower than last year at 160 million pounds, down 132.8 million pounds or 45.4 percent, due to 55.5 percent or 143.1 million pounds operating profit decline in John Lewis & Partners to 114.7 million pounds.

Commenting on the full year trading, Sir Charlie Mayfield, Partner and Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said in a statement: “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. The board has awarded a bonus at 3 percent. This enables us to continue debt reduction, maintain our level of investment and retains solid cash reserves to cope with the continuing uncertainty facing consumers and the economy.”

In John Lewis & Partners, the company added, strongest sales growth came in areas where it made the greatest investments in new product and services. Full range re-launch of the company-owned brand womenswear, including new product, in-store concept and enhanced partner training, delivered sales growth of 12.9 percent. In the year ahead, John Lewis plans to completely re-launch its menswear offer.

Picture:John Lewis website


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