John Lewis Partnership staff will receive bonuses worth 17% of salary after the group reported a 15.8% surge in full year pre-tax profits.

John Lewis Partnership reports 17per cent bonus

John Lewis bonus announcement 2013

The group, which owns John Lewis and Waitrose, unveiled pre-tax, pre-bonus profits of £409.6m for the year to January 26. Gross sales jumped 9.3% to £9.54bn over the year.

In the first five weeks of its current financial year, John Lewis like-for-likes soared 13.7%. Waitrose like-for-likes were up 6.4%, excluding petrol.

The Partnership expects sales growth to continue this year but “less strongly” than in its last year.

In the last year, department store John Lewis like-for-likes soared 10.5%, while gross sales advanced 13.5% to £3.78bn. Online sales rocketed 40.8% to £959m. Operating profit at the department store chain leaped 37.2% to £216.7m.

Waitrose gross sales rose 6.7% to £5.75bn, with like-for-likes, excluding petrol, up 3.4%. Operating profit increased 12.2% to £292.3m at the grocer.

John Lewis and Waitrose workers will now receive nearly nine weeks’ pay with a total bonus of £210.8m paid out.

John Lewis Partnership chairman Charlie Mayfield said: “This has been a good year for the Partnership with growth in sales and profit above our expectations.

“Although the market remains challenging, the Partnership has adapted quickly and successfully and we saw the benefits this year. We have stepped up innovation in new products, there’s been a continuing focus on value and sustained and rapid growth online.”

It also revealed it is planning a “significant step up” in total investment in particular in supply chain, technology and systems, where Mayfield said a “quiet revolution” was underway.

It said: “These investments are central to our strategy of remaining at the forefront of changes in retail today whilst preparing the Partnership for tomorrow.”