John Lewis Partnership to reinstate staff bonus following strong full year sales
The John Lewis Partnership is reinstating its staff bonus after its full year pre-tax profit before exceptional items rose by 38% year-on-year to £181 million.
In the year to 29 January, the partnership saw total sales edge up 1% to £12.5 billion after sales at the John Lewis department store reached a record £4.93 billion, which was an increase of 8% on a like-for-like basis.
Meanwhile, like-for-like sales at Waitrose rose by 1% to £7.54 billion in the period.
When £161 million worth of exceptional items and a staff bonus cost of £46 million were included, the partnership made a pre-tax loss of £26 million, which was £491 million better than the prior year.
In 2020, the partnership’s board set the minimum threshold for paying a staff bonus as a combination of pre-tax profit before exceptional items of £150 million and a debt ratio of less than 4x. As this has now been achieved, it has decided to share a 3% bonus with partners while the executive team will donate theirs to the British Red Cross. Partners will also be given a 2% pay rise as part of a commitment to paying the voluntary Real Living Wage.
Looking ahead, the partnership said it sees continued uncertainty arising from global events for both the economy and customers. In the new financial year, it will be investing £119 million in John Lewis shops, digital services and its distribution capabilities and committing £500 million to to give customers “quality at great value prices” as shoppers become more cost conscious. In addition, an improved John Lewis loyalty proposition will be launched later this year.
It will also invest in a further 23 major refurbishments at Waitrose stores and £72 million in the supermarket’s digital services and distribution operations.
Sharon White, John Lewis Partnership chair, said: “This is a year of opportunity for the partnership, despite economic headwinds. We have come through so much already and our solidarity will continue to carry us through. I am confident that by continuing to invest in our strategy we will deliver for our customers, partners, suppliers and communities.”
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