John Lewis Partnership makes half year loss and warns on no-deal Brexit
The John Lewis Partnership has reported a first half operating loss and warned about the effects of a no-deal Brexit.
The partnership made a loss of £25.9 million in the six months to 27 July. This compares to a profit of £0.8 million in the same period last year. Revenue declined by 1.4% in the period.
Sir Charlie Mayfield, partner and chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “The re-drawing of the UK retail landscape continues apace. While trading conditions have continued to be difficult, we have accelerated our differentiation strategy and significantly strengthened our balance sheet.”
The Waitrose supermarket grew its operating profit by 14.7% to £110.1 million before exceptional items and IFRS 16. However, the John Lewis department store made a loss of £61.8 million after making fewer sales in big-ticket items.
The partnership warned there would be a significant effect if the UK left the EU without a deal and that the impact could not be mitigated.
Mayfield added: “In readiness, we have ensured our financial resilience and taken steps to increase our foreign currency hedging, to build stock where that is sensible, and to improve customs readiness. However, Brexit continues to weigh on consumer sentiment at a crucial time for the sector as we enter the peak trading period.”
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