Staff at the John Lewis Partnership will share a £46m bonus pot after the retail giant saw underlying annual profits rebound by 38 per cent.
The group, which also owns upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose, said it will pay a bonus of 3% to its employees, or one-and-a-half weeks’ pay, and increase wages by 2 per cent on top of its pledge to pay the real living wage.
It marks the return of payouts after it was forced to scrap last year’s staff bonus for the first time since 1953.
The bonus cheer came as the group reported underlying pre-tax profits rising to £181m in the year to January 29 thanks to a record £4.9bn sales haul at the department stores, up 8% on a like-for-like basis.
But it remained in the red on a bottom-line basis, though losses narrowed sharply to £26m from £517m the previous year, when it posted its first ever annual loss after the pandemic battered John Lewis outlets.
Chairwoman Dame Sharon White hailed a “good start” to the group’s five-year overhaul, but warned of a troubled wider outlook.
She said: “We see continued uncertainty from global events affecting the economic environment, our customers, partners and society.
“As inflation and energy prices rise, our customers face higher living costs.
“While this creates uncertainties as we look ahead, we remain focused on investing significantly in our Partnership Plan to transform and grow our business.”
In July, the employee-owned business revealed plans to cut 1,000 jobs, having already said it would axe around 1,465 roles as part of last year’s store closures.
The group recently ditched its “Never Knowingly Undersold” promise to customers to focus on its Anyday value ranges instead.
It has also said it will remove any products made in Russia from Waitrose and John Lewis in response to the conflict.