Profits at John Lewis Partnership up 59.8% in first half
The retail partnership made a pre-tax profit of £144.5 million in the six months to 28 July, a rise of 59.8% from a year earlier. Revenue was up 8.6% to £3.9 billion.
Like-for-like sales at John Lewis department stores increased by 9.2%,while like-for-like sales at Waitrose supermarkets grew by 2.2%.
Chairman Charlie Mayfield said the partnership had benefited from the Diamond Jubilee, the lead- up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the anniversary of the VAT increase, which had depressed sales last year. Sales were also boosted by the launch of new product ranges as well as the retailer’s continued investment in its multi-channel offering and efficiency improvements.
Mayfield said: "Our rate of growth will remain positive but will be slower in the second half and, with further investment planned in that period to strengthen our business for the longer term, the rapid rate of profit increase is not expected to be carried through to the full year. This is consistent with our long term commitment to building the Partnership for the future."
Since the end of the retailer's half-year, which coincided with the start of the Olympics, Waitrose like-for-like sales growth has increased to 4.5% and fallen slightly at John Lewis to 8.5%.
Waitrose invested £79.9 million in the period, mainly in new branches, the implementation of a new warehouse management system and a number of retail systems to improve efficiency.
John Lewis invested £67 million which was spent on new stores and refurbishments and investment in an IT and distribution infrastructure to support multi-channel trading.
Operating profits in the first half at John Lewis department stores rose 188% to £45.6 million, while at Waitrose they rose 29% to £142 million.
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