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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008, 10:37 GMT
John Lewis profits and bonuses up
John Lewis
John Lewis partners are taking home a hefty bonus
Department store group John Lewis has reported an 18.7% rise in 2007's pre-tax profits to 379.8m despite tough trading conditions.

Its 69,000 partners, the staff who co-own the business, received bonuses totalling 181.1m, equivalent to about 20% of salary or 10 weeks' pay.

The partnership "had a successful year in a challenging trading environment", chairman Charlie Mayfield said.

John Lewis, which also owns Waitrose supermarkets, forecasts a tough 2008.

Challenging times

Like-for-like sales at John Lewis department stores were up 5%, the group said. The business increased its share of the market store sector by 0.5% to 19.3%.

Waitrose saw like-for-like sales excluding petrol rise by 3.6%.

The general slowdown in the housing market in the second half of the year "depressed sales of large purchases in the home market and this trend has continued into the new financial year," the group said.

"We expect trading conditions to be very challenging this year as consumers continue to respond to concerns about the housing market, higher food and energy costs and tighter credit conditions," it added.

The harsher economic climate can already be seen in this year's sales figures. Sales for the five weeks to 1 March were up 2% at John Lewis stores.

However, sales at Waitrose - which the group said was less affected by changes in consumer confidence - were up 8%.

The John Lewis partnership operates 26 department stores across the UK, the website John Lewis direct, 187 Waitrose supermarkets and Greenbee.com, a direct services company.



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