John Lewis staff share in £211m bonus pool

 
Kasmira Jefford
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JOHN LEWIS’s 84,700 staff have received bonuses equivalent to 17 per cent of their salaries, the company said yesterday, as it revealed a surge in profits and sales.

The £211m bonus pot, announced at John Lewis and Waitrose stores across the UK to staff cheers, is worth nearly nine weeks’ pay, or around £4,000 for average full-time employees.

This is up from 14 per cent last year, when bonuses were cut for the first time since 2009.

The news came as the John Lewis Partnership said profit before the bonus and tax surged 15.8 per cent to £409.6m in the year to 26 January. Total sales rose 9.1 per cent to £8.47bn, with John Lewis like-for-like sales up 10.5 per cent and Waitrose like-for-like sales climbing 3.4 per cent.

Chairman Charlie Mayfield said “a quiet revolution” was taking place behind the scenes at the company, with millions of pounds being invested in its supply chain, systems and services to help it build its profits.

The group plans to invest a record £200m on John Lewis alone this year on revamping stores, extending its Milton Keynes warehouse, and expanding its click and collect network.

Andy Street, John Lewis managing director said it had grown market share across all categories, with electrical goods sales up 29 per cent on last year, benefiting from the collapse of rival Comet.

Online sales grew 49 per cent across the group overall.

Mayfield said 2012 had been tougher economically than expected but he believed consumer sentiment was stabilising.

“This time a year ago, there were pretty serious concerns about whether there was going to be a Eurozone crisis. Whereas now there is much more confidence there probably isn’t, or if there is, it will be contained,” he said.

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