Retail news round-up on August 15, 2014:Toys R Us profits fall for fourth consecutive year, Asda boss Andy Clarke predicts Christmas growth and John Lewis Partnership beats Bertha and capitalises on Bake Off return.

Toys R Us profits fall for fourth consecutive year

Toys R Us has recorded a fourth consecutive profit drop in the UK as pre-tax profits for the year ending 1 February 2014 fell 24% to £4.55m.

In the prior year pre-tax profits fell almost 50% from £11.44m to £5.98m. Across the course of its most recent financial year the company opened one store, plus two seasonal temporary stores, and at the end of the year traded from 80 stores.

Asda boss Andy Clarke predicts Christmas growth

Asda boss Andy Clarke expects to deliver growth over Christmas despite tough conditions, but has cautioned a two-speed recovery could hamper the revival.

He said sections of the country, including Northern Ireland and parts of the north, are suffering from a slower economic recovery than London and the South East.

Clarke made the comments as he revealed a 0.5% like-for-like increase in Asda’s second quarter.

John Lewis beats Bertha and Waitrose enjoys Bake Off surge

John Lewis sales increased 6.1% to £69m  for the week to 9 August as many customers battled hurricane Bertha to go shopping or turned to online shopping. Online sales were up 20% on the back of high demand for fashion and home lines.

Meanwhile, a return of The Great British Bake Off to TV screens appears to have contributed to a strong week for Waitrose, as like-for-likes increased 8.2% to £117.8m. Sales of glacé cherries were up 25%, and piping bags were up 14%, suggesting Mary Berry’s cherry cake was a clear favourite with viewers