John Lewis Partnership has reported pre-tax and bonus profits up 9.7% to £306.6m and staff shared a £151.3m bonus pot, 15% of salary.
The retailer – which operates John Lewis department stores and grocer Waitrose – said the previous year’s pre-tax figure included the £127.4m book gain on the disposal of Ocado. Excluding that one-off gain, the year on year movement is 9.7% or an increase of £27m.
For the year ending January 30, gross sales were up 6.5% to £7.4bn. John Lewis recorded operating profit, excluding property gains, up 15% to £165.9m. Gross sales were up 2.8% to £2.9bn. Like-for-like sales were up 2.3%.
Waitrose recorded operating profit, excluding property gains, up 26.8% to £268.2m. Gross sales were up 9% to £4.5bn. Like-for-like sales were up 3.6%.
John Lewis Partnership chairman Charlie Mayfield said: “This was a year of profound change across the partnership and the resilience and flexibility of our business model has underpinned a market leading performance. We have continued to invest, innovate and grow, emerging from the recession in a stronger competitive position.
“Waitrose has made enormous progress in the year with significant investment in both price and in the development of new shops, new formats and strategic partnerships. This, combined with the tremendous success of essential Waitrose has made the Waitrose brand more accessible to more customers in more parts of the United Kingdom. Each week up to 400,000 more people are now choosing to shop at Waitrose.
“Momentum in John Lewis built through the year as our uncompromising commitment to quality, service and value throughout the recession paid dividends. This, together with strong growth in multichannel and online operations and our increasing strength and reputation in fashion were key contributors to a successful year. The first “John Lewis at Home” in Poole traded ahead of expectations giving us confidence that this new format has demonstrated the potential for further expansion.”